Effects of processing depth on memory for the alcohol warning label

David Mackinnon, Alan W. Stacy, Liva Nohre, R. Edward Geiselman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The experiment examined: (1) the effects of different types of processing of the alcohol beverage warning label on memory for the label content, (2) potential measures of memory for the alcohol warning label, and (3) whether cues to the alcohol warning label increase memory for the content of the label. We hypothesized that the warning label may be processed in three ways: (1) persons may read the label, (2) persons may read the label and describe its content to others, and (3) persons may see the label but not cognitively process the label. Processing effects were operationalized as three orienting tasks to the label (read, paraphrase, and count) which were compared to a control condition (no experimental exposure to the warning label). Four tests (free recall, recognition, word-stem completion, and controlled association) were compared. In one additional condition, subjects were cued to the warning label without prior experimental exposure. The free recall test was the most sensitive measure to different levels of processing. Average memory scores for the paraphrase and read conditions were higher than the count and control conditions. Average memory performance in the cued condition was superior to the control condition, suggesting that subjects remember the content of the warning from exposure to the label outside this experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors Society
PublisherPubl by Human Factors Soc Inc
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 1992
EventProceedings of the Human Factors Society 36th Annual Meeting. Part 2 (f 2) - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Oct 12 1992Oct 16 1992


OtherProceedings of the Human Factors Society 36th Annual Meeting. Part 2 (f 2)
CityAtlanta, GA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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