ERIC Number: EJ1056025
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
Covert Retrieval Practice Benefits Retention as Much as Overt Retrieval Practice
Smith, Megan A.; Roediger, Henry L., III; Karpicke, Jeffrey D.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v39 n6 p1712-1725 Nov 2013
Many experiments provide evidence that practicing retrieval benefits retention relative to conditions of no retrieval practice. Nearly all prior research has employed retrieval practice requiring overt responses, but a few experiments have shown that covert retrieval also produces retention advantages relative to control conditions. However, direct comparisons between overt and covert retrieval are scarce: Does covert retrieval--thinking of but not producing responses--on a first test produce the same benefit as overt retrieval on a criterial test given later? We report 4 experiments that address this issue by comparing retention on a second test following overt or covert retrieval on a first test. In Experiment 1 we used a procedure designed to ensure that subjects would retrieve on covert as well as overt test trials and found equivalent testing effects in the 2 cases. In Experiment 2 we replicated these effects using a procedure that more closely mirrored natural retrieval processes. In Experiment 3 we showed that overt and covert retrieval produced equivalent testing effects after a 2-day delay. Finally, in Experiment 4 we showed that covert retrieval benefits retention more than restudying. We conclude that covert retrieval practice is as effective as overt retrieval practice, a conclusion that contravenes hypotheses in the literature proposing that overt responding is better. This outcome has an important educational implication: Students can learn as much from covert self-testing as they would from overt responding.
Descriptors: Recall (Psychology), Memory, Drills (Practice), Experimental Psychology, Word Lists, Memorization, Cognitive Processes, Statistical Analysis, College Students, Responses
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri