Moishe can remember only the first two items and the last two items on the grocery list that his wife just read to him over the phone. The other five items in between are gone. This is an example of the ________.


Serial position effect.


The serial position effect refers to the research finding that items at the beginning or end of a list to be recalled better than items in the middle.

Serial position effects are observed when a person memorises a series of words exceeding his or her attention span. Cognitively normal individuals recall words at the beginning and end of the list more frequently than those in the middle, which reflects the way that short- and long-term episodic memory works.

The two concepts involved in the serial position effect are the primacy effect and the recency effect, which explains how items presented at the beginning of a sequence and the end of a sequence are recalled with greater accuracy than items in the middle of a list.

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