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Memory. 1996 Nov;4(6):633-53.

Directed forgetting: further comparisons of the item and list methods.

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Department of Psychology, California State University, Fresno 93740-0011, USA.


Three experiments contrasted the effects of directed forgetting instructions when given by item and given by list. In Experiment 1, which involved free recall of a single-category list, directed forgetting was greater with the item method than with the list method when the study format was pictures or words whose referents were imaged (these encouraged item-specific processing), but not when the study format was words not imaged (this encouraged relational processing). In Experiment 2, directed forgetting was observed with the item method but not with the list method in an indirect test of general knowledge. In Experiment 3, "Recollect" judgements showed directed forgetting with the item method but not with the list method. "Know" judgements did not show directed forgetting with either method. These experiments show that the mechanisms underlying directed forgetting differ for the item and list methods.

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