Term of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Lawrence Locker

Committee Member 1

Karen Z. Naufel

Committee Member 2

John D. Murray


The picture superiority effect is a well-documented phenomenon that is defined as the superior memory of pictorial stimuli compared to word stimuli. The predominant explanation for this effect is that pictures are encoded more effectively than words, and are therefore able to be better remembered. Research has demonstrated the benefit that pictures provide for remembering words. However, little work has been to done to examine any negative and/or intrusion effects of pictures on memory for words. The current study further explored the picture superiority effect and facilitation effects of pictures on words as well as interference effects of pictures on word memory. Results indicated that matching and semantically related pictures facilitated word recognition memory. Incongruent/unmatching pictures however were of no detriment. Implications of picture processing and pictorial influence on word processing are discussed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material