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On the transfer of prior tests or study events to subsequent study

Storm, B. C., Friedman, M. C., Murayama, K. and Bjork, R. A. (2013) On the transfer of prior tests or study events to subsequent study. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 40 (1). pp. 115-124. ISSN 0278-7393

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/a0034252


Tests, as learning events, are often more effective than are additional study opportunities, especially when recall is tested after a long retention interval. To what degree, though, do prior test or study events support subsequent study activities? We set out to test an implication of Bjork and Bjork’s (1992) new theory of disuse—that, under some circumstances, prior study may facilitate subsequent study more than does prior testing. Participants learned English–Swahili translations and then underwent a practice phase during which some items were tested (without feedback) and other items were restudied. Although tested items were better recalled after a 1-week delay than were restudied items, this benefit did not persist after participants had the opportunity to study the items again via feedback. In fact, after this additional study opportunity, items that had been restudied earlier were better recalled than were items that had been tested earlier. These results suggest that measuring the memorial consequences of testing requires more than a single test of retention and, theoretically, a consideration of the differing status of initially recallable and nonrecallable items.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:34850
Uncontrolled Keywords:No terms assigned; article; 2300:Human Experimental Psychology;
Publisher:American Psychological Association.

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