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4.2 The effects of irrelevant speech

Imagine watching a computer screen, on which a series of digits is flashed, at a nice easy rate of one per second. After six items you have to report what the digits had been, in the order presented (this is called serial recall). Not a very difficult task, you might think, but what if someone were talking nearby? It turns out that, even when participants are instructed to ignore the speech completely, their recall performance drops by at least 30 per cent (Jones, 1999).

In the context
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References

Aaron, P.G., Wleklinski, M. and Wills, C. (1993) ‘Developmental dyslexia as a cognitive style’, in Joshi, R.M. and Leong, C.K. (eds) Reading Disabilities: Diagnosis and Component Processes, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Adams, M.J. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
Anderson, R., Hiebert, E.,
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence - see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ - Original copyright The Open University

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