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Ranschburg inhibition


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The difficulty of recalling lists of similar items relative to clearly differentiated items; thus a list of nonsense syllables such as BEX, DOV, DEX, BOV, DEV takes longer to learn and tends to result in more errors on recall than DEG, VOK, NUX, ZAJ, KIF, or a list of words such as big, immense, large, great, vast is similarly harder than cold, red, quiet, clever, hungry. A special case of this phenomenon is the repetition effect. Also called the Ranschburg effect, Ranschburg phenomenon, Ranschburgsches Phänomen, or Ranschburgsches phenomenon, though the latter mixture of two languages is a barbarism that is avoided in careful usage. See also proactive interference, retroactive interference. Compare von Restorff effect. [Named after the Hungarian psychiatrist Paul Ranschburg (1870–1945) who reported it in 1901]

Subjects: Psychology.


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