Bizarreness effect

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Bizarreness effect is the tendency of bizarre material to be better remembered than common material.[1] The scientific evidence for its existence is contested. Some research suggests it does exist, some suggests it doesn't exist and some suggests it leads to worse remembering.[2]


McDaniel and Einstein argues that bizarreness intrinsically does not enhance memory in their paper from 1986. They claim that bizarre information becomes distinctive. It is the distinctiveness that according to them makes encoding easier.[3] Which makes common sense from an instinctual perspective as the human brain will disregard ingesting information it already is familiar with and will be particularly attuned to taking in new information as an adaptation technique.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bäckman, Lars; Nyberg, Lars (24 August 2009). Memory, Aging and the Brain: A Festschrift in Honour of Lars-G ran Nilsson. Psychology Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-203-86666-5.
  2. ^ Schmidt, Stephen R. (4 May 2012). Extraordinary Memories for Exceptional Events. Psychology Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-136-49936-4.
  3. ^ Iaccino, J. F.; Sowa, S. J. (February 1989). "Bizarre imagery in paired-associate learning: an effective mnemonic aid with mixed context, delayed testing, and self-paced conditions". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 68 (1): 307–16. doi:10.2466/pms.1989.68.1.307. PMID 2928063. S2CID 19383104.