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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2006 Nov;135(4):553-71.

Retrieval-induced facilitation: initially nontested material can benefit from prior testing of related material.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, USA. ckchan@artsci.wustl.edu

Abstract

Classroom exams can assess students' knowledge of only a subset of the material taught in a course. What are the implications of this approach for long-term retention? Three experiments (N = 210) examined how taking an initial test affects later memory for prose materials not initially tested. Experiment 1 shows that testing enhanced recall 24 hr later for the initially nontested material. This facilitation was not seen for participants given additional study opportunities without initial testing. Experiment 2 extends this facilitative effect to a within-subjects design. Experiment 3 demonstrates that this facilitation can be modulated by conscious strategies. These results have implications for educational practice and the theoretical developments of the testing effect, associative memory, and retrieval inhibition.

PMID:
17087573
DOI:
10.1037/0096-3445.135.4.553
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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