Hierarchical Organization in Ordered Domains: Estimating the Dates of Events

Janellen Huttenlocher*, Larry Hedges, Vincent Prohaska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


In this article we examine certain consequences of hierarchical organization in memory for domains involving ordered items. In particular, when ordered items are organized at more than one level of precision, and memory is inexact (but unbiased) at a particular level of detail, the boundaries arising from the division of larger units will lead to biases in estimation. Here we develop a quantitative model to account for bias in the temporal domain. We present data from a study of memory for dates across bounded intervals in which large bias effects are observed, and we show that the model entirely accounts for these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-484
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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