Phonological similarity and the irrelevant speech effect: implications for models of short-term verbal memory

J D Larsen, Alan Baddeley, J Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments studied the interaction between irrelevant speech and phonological similarity within both the remembered and the irrelevant auditory material. Phonological similarity within the remembered list impaired performance in both baseline and irrelevant speech conditions, whereas phonological similarity between the remembered and ignored irrelevant items did not influence performance. Although there was a tendency for similarity within the irrelevant items to reduce interference, this proved to be a less robust finding. Implications for the theoretical interpretation of the irrelevant speech effect are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-57
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Models, Psychological
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Phonetics

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