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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2007 Mar;33(2):431-7.

The testing effect in recognition memory: a dual process account.

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Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


The testing effect, or the finding that taking an initial test improves subsequent memory performance, is a robust and reliable phenomenon--as long as the final test involves recall. Few studies have examined the effects of taking an initial recall test on final recognition performance, and results from these studies are equivocal. In 3 experiments, we attempt to demonstrate that initial testing can change the ways in which later recognition decisions are executed even when no difference can be detected in the recognition hit rates. Specifically, initial testing was shown to enhance later recollection but leave familiarity unchanged. This conclusion emerged from three dependent measures: source memory, exclusion performance, and remember/know judgments.

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