ERIC Number: EJ779038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Motivated to Retrieve: How Often Are You Willing to Go Back to the Well when the Well Is Dry?
Dougherty, Michael R.; Harbison, J. Isaiah
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v33 n6 p1108-1117 Nov 2007
Despite the necessity of the decision to terminate memory search in many real-world memory tasks, little experimental work has investigated the underlying processes. In this study, the authors investigated termination decisions in free recall by providing participants an open-ended retrieval interval and requiring them to press a stop button when they had finished retrieving. Three variables important to assessing one's willingness to search memory were examined: (a) the time spent searching memory after the last successful retrieval before choosing to quit (the exit latency); (b) task difficulty; and (c) individual differences in motivation, as measured by Webster and Kruglanski's (1994) Need for Closure Scale. A strong negative correlation was found between individual differences in motivation and participants' exit latencies. This negative correlation was present only when the retrieval task started out as relatively difficult.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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