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ERIC Number: EJ928678
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0749-596X
Why Tests Appear to Prevent Forgetting: A Distribution-Based Bifurcation Model
Kornell, Nate; Bjork, Robert A.; Garcia, Michael A.
Journal of Memory and Language, v65 n2 p85-97 Aug 2011
Retrieving information from memory produces more learning than does being presented with the same information, and the benefits of such retrieval appear to grow as the delay before a final recall test grows longer. Recall tests, however, measure the number of items that are above a recall threshold, not memory strength per se. According to the model proposed in this paper, tests without feedback produce bifurcated item distributions: Retrieved items become stronger, but non-retrieved items remain weak, resulting in a gap between the two classes of items. Restudying items, on the other hand, strengthens all items, though to a lesser degree than does retrieval. These differing outcomes can make tested items appear to be forgotten more slowly than are restudied items--even if all items are forgotten at the same rate--because the test-induced bifurcation leaves items either well above or well below threshold. We review prior evidence and present three new experiments designed to test the bifurcation interpretation. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A