ERIC Number: EJ1124914
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Rehearsal of To-Be-Remembered Items Is Unnecessary to Perform Directed Forgetting within Working Memory: Support for an Active Control Mechanism
Festini, Sara B.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v43 n1 p94-108 Jan 2017
Directed forgetting tasks instruct people to forget targeted memoranda. In the context of working memory, people attempt to forget representations that are currently held in mind. Here, we evaluated candidate mechanisms of directed forgetting within working memory, by (a) testing the influence of articulatory suppression, a rehearsal-reducing and attention-demanding secondary task, on directed forgetting efficacy, and by (b) assessing the ability of people to perform forgetting in the absence of to-be-remembered competitors to rehearse. In Experiment 1, articulatory suppression interfered with directed forgetting, increasing the proportion of false alarms to to-be-forgotten probes in the working memory phase and decreasing the magnitude of the directed forgetting effect as assessed by an incidental long-term memory recognition test. Experiment 2 replicated the effects of articulatory suppression and tested whether the simultaneous requirement to retain, and presumably rehearse, to-be-remembered items was necessary for successful forgetting. The long-term directed forgetting effect was equivalent whether or not participants had to-be-remembered items to rehearse during the working memory phase. Experiment 3 included an additional comparison condition and confirmed that articulatory suppression interfered with directed forgetting and that participants were as efficient at directed forgetting with and without competitors to remember. In combination, these experiments suggest that directed forgetting in working memory requires an active control process that is limited by articulatory suppression, and that the demand to remember a concurrent memory set is unnecessary for this control process to operate.
Descriptors: Short Term Memory, Interference (Learning), Retention (Psychology), Statistical Analysis, Long Term Memory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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