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Adv Cogn Psychol. 2014 Jun 9;10(2):49-58. doi: 10.5709/acp-0156-3. eCollection 2014.

Proactive control of proactive interference using the method of loci.

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Department of Psychology, California State University, Fresno, USA.


Proactive interferencebuilds up with exposure to multiple lists of similar items with a resulting reduction in recall. This study examined the effectiveness of using a proactive strategy of the method of loci to reduce proactive interference in a list recall paradigm of categorically similar words. While all participants reported using some form of strategy to recall list words, this study demonstrated that young adults were able to proactively use the method of loci after 25 min of instruction to reduce proactive interference as compared with other personal spontaneous strategies. The implications of this study are that top-down proactive strategies such as the method of loci can significantly reduce proactive interference, and that the use of image and sequence or location are especially useful in this regard.


method of loci; mnemonics; proactive interference

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