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Retrieval practice enhances new learning but does not affect performance in subsequent arithmetic tasks

  • The forward testing effect is an indirect benefit of retrieval practice. It refers to the finding that retrieval practice of previously studied information enhances learning and retention of subsequently studied other information in episodic memory tasks. Here, two experiments were conducted that investigated whether retrieval practice influences participants’ performance in other tasks, i.e., arithmetic tasks. Participants studied three lists of words in anticipation of a final recall test. In the testing condition, participants were immediately tested on lists 1 and 2 after study of each list, whereas in the restudy condition, they restudied lists 1 and 2 after initial study. Before and after study of list 3, participants did an arithmetic task. Finally, participants were tested on list 3, list 2, and list 1. Different arithmetic tasks were used in the two experiments. Participants did a modular arithmetic task in Experiment 1a and a single-digit multiplication task in Experiment 1b. The results of both experiments showed a forward testing effect with interim testing of lists 1 and 2 enhancing list 3 recall in the list 3 recall test, but no effects of recall testing of lists 1 and 2 for participants’ performance in the arithmetic tasks. The findings are discussed with respect to cognitive load theory and current theories of the forward testing effect.

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Author:Bernhard Pastötter, Julian Urban, Johannes Lötzer, Christian Frings
Parent Title (English):Journal of Cognition
Publisher:Ubiquity Press
Place of publication:Hoboken, New Jersey
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2022/03/22
Date of publication:2022/03/22
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:2022/05/18
Tag:Learning; Long-term memory; Memory; Working memory
GND Keyword:Information Retrieval; Lernen; Mathematik; Problemlösen; Übung
Volume (for the year ...):2022
Issue / no.:Band 5, Heft 2 (2022)
Number of pages:14
First page:1
Last page:14
Institutes:Fachbereich 1 / Psychologie
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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