ERIC Number: EJ1056495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Abstractor: As Provided
A Retrieved Context Account of Spacing and Repetition Effects in Free Recall
Siegel, Lynn L.; Kahana, Michael J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v40 n3 p755-764 May 2014
Repeating an item in a list benefits recall performance, and this benefit increases when the repetitions are spaced apart (Madigan, 1969; Melton, 1970). Retrieved context theory incorporates 2 mechanisms that account for these effects: contextual variability and study-phase retrieval. Specifically, if an item presented at position "i" is repeated at position "j," this leads to retrieval of its context from its initial presentation at "i" (study-phase retrieval), and this retrieved context will be used to update the current state of context (contextual variability). Here we consider predictions of a computational model that embodies retrieved context theory, the context maintenance and retrieval model (CMR; Polyn, Norman, & Kahana, 2009). CMR makes the novel prediction that subjects are more likely to successively recall items that follow a shared repeated item (e.g., "i" + 1, "j" + 1) because both items are associated with the context of the repeated item presented at "i" and "j." CMR also predicts that the probability of recalling at least 1 of 2 studied items should increase with the items' spacing (Lohnas, Polyn, & Kahana, 2011). We tested these predictions in a new experiment, and CMR's predictions were upheld. These findings suggest that retrieved context theory offers an integrated explanation for repetition and spacing effects in free recall tasks.
Descriptors: Memory, Recall (Psychology), Context Effect, Cues, Prediction, Computation, Models, Repetition, Probability, Experiments, Experimental Psychology, Intervals, College Students, Scores
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: MH55687