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ERIC Number: EJ1056690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Why Two Heads Apart Are Better than Two Heads Together: Multiple Mechanisms Underlie the Collaborative Inhibition Effect in Memory
Barber, Sarah J.; Harris, Celia B.; Rajaram, Suparna
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n2 p559-566 Mar 2015
Although a group of people working together remembers more than any one individual, they recall less than their predicted potential. This finding is known as collaborative inhibition and is generally thought to arise due to retrieval disruption. However, there is growing evidence that is inconsistent with the retrieval disruption account, suggesting that additional mechanisms also contribute to collaborative inhibition. In the current studies, we examined 2 alternate mechanisms: retrieval inhibition and retrieval blocking. To identify the contributions of retrieval disruption, retrieval inhibition, and retrieval blocking, we tested how collaborative recall of entirely unshared information influences subsequent individual recall and individual recognition memory. If collaborative inhibition is due solely to retrieval disruption, then there should be a release from the negative effects of collaboration on subsequent individual recall and recognition tests. If it is due to retrieval inhibition, then the negative effects of collaboration should persist on both individual recall and recognition memory tests. Finally, if it is due to retrieval blocking, then the impairment should persist on subsequent individual free recall, but not recognition, tests. Novel to the current study, results suggest that retrieval inhibition plays a role in the collaborative inhibition effect. The negative effects of collaboration persisted on a subsequent, always-individual, free-recall test (Experiment 1) and also on a subsequent, always-individual, recognition test (Experiment 2). However, consistent with the retrieval disruption account, this deficit was attenuated (Experiment 1). Together, these results suggest that, in addition to retrieval disruption, multiple mechanisms play a role in collaborative inhibition.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: T32-AG00037