Effects of Number Signals on Reading and Recall

Robert F. Lorch, Audrey H. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


In this study, we investigated the effects of number signals on text recall. College-age subjects (N = 120) read and recalled two texts containing 10 target sentences each. Reading times were recorded for each target sentence. For half of the subjects, the target sentences were preceded by numbers indicating their organization; for the other half, the target sentences were not signaled. Half of the subjects did a free-recall task, whereas half did a cued-recall task. Subjects read target sentences more slowly if they were signaled than if they were unsignaled. Subjects' recalls of target information followed the text organization more closely if the sentences were signaled. Finally, signaling aided free recall of target sentences but had no effect on cued recall. The results demonstrated that number signals directed attention to the sentences they marked, led to better encoding of the organization of target information, and influenced the process of recalling the target information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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