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The forward testing effect is reliable and independent of learners’ working memory capacity

  • The forward testing effect refers to the finding that retrieval practice of previously studied information enhances learning and retention of subsequently studied other information. While most of the previous research on the forward testing effect examined group differences, the present study took an individual differences approach to investigate this effect. Experiment 1 examined whether the forward effect has test-retest reliability between two experimental sessions. Experiment 2 investigated whether the effect is related to participants’ working memory capacity. In both experiments (and each session of Experiment 1), participants studied three lists of items in anticipation of a final cumulative recall test. In the testing condition, participants were tested immediately on lists 1 and 2, whereas in the restudy condition, they restudied lists 1 and 2. In both conditions, participants were tested immediately on list 3. On the group level, the results of both experiments demonstrated a forward testing effect, with interim testing of lists 1 and 2 enhancing immediate recall of list 3. On the individual level, the results of Experiment 1 showed that the forward effect on list 3 recall has moderate test-retest reliability between two experimental sessions. In addition, the results of Experiment 2 showed that the forward effect on list 3 recall does not depend on participants’ working memory capacity. These findings suggest that the forward testing effect is reliable at the individual level and affects learners at a wide range of working memory capacities alike. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

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Author:Bernhard PastötterORCiD, Christian FringsORCiD
Parent Title (English):Journal of cognition
Publisher:Ubiquity Press
Place of publication:Berkeley, California
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2019/12/11
Date of publication:2019/08/29
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2019/12/11
Tag:Learning; Long-term memory; Memory; Working memory
GND Keyword:Arbeitsgedächtnis; Gedächtnis; Information Retrieval; Langzeitgedächtnis; Lernen
Volume (for the year ...):2
Issue / no.:1
Number of pages:15
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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