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ERIC Number: EJ1056001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Interfering Effects of Retrieval in Learning New Information
Finn, Bridgid; Roediger, Henry L., III
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n6 p1665-1681 Nov 2013
In 7 experiments, we explored the role of retrieval in associative updating, that is, in incorporating new information into an associative memory. We tested the hypothesis that retrieval would facilitate incorporating a new contextual detail into a learned association. Participants learned 3 pieces of information--a person's face, name, and profession (in Experiments 1-5). In the 1st phase, participants in all conditions learned faces and names. In the 2nd phase, participants either restudied the face-name pair (the restudy condition) or were given the face and asked to retrieve the name (the test condition). In the 3rd phase, professions were presented for study just after restudy or testing. Our prediction was that the new information (the profession) would be more readily learned following "retrieval" of the face-name association compared to "restudy" of the face-name association. However, we found that the act of retrieval generally undermined acquisition of new associations rather than facilitating them. This detrimental effect emerged on both immediate and delayed tests. Further, the effect was not due to selective attention to feedback because we found impairment whether or not feedback was provided after the Phase 2 test. The data are novel in showing that the act of retrieving information can inhibit the ability to learn new information shortly thereafter. The results are difficult to accommodate within current theories that mostly emphasize benefits of retrieval for learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A