Serial Position Effect

Your constantly-updated definition of Serial Position Effect and collection of topical content and literature

What is Serial Position Effect?

The serial position effect, a term coined by Herman Ebbinghaus, describes how the position of an item in a sequence affects recall accuracy. The two concepts involved, the primacy effect and the recency effect, 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. Manipulation of the serial position effect to create better user experiences is reflected in many popular designs by successful companies like Apple, Electronic Arts, and Nike.

Literature on Serial Position Effect

Here’s the entire UX literature on Serial Position Effect by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

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All Literature

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