Segregation accuracy in item-method directed forgetting across multiple tests

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Two experiments examined recall across tests following item-method directed-forgetting instructions and the varying of presentation duration of items at study. For both immediate testing (Experiment 1) and delayed testing (Experiment 2), accurate recall of remember instruction items (R-items) exceeded the accurate recall of forget instruction items (F-items). However, some F-items from study were inaccurately recalled as R-items and R-items from study as F-items. Inaccurate recall persisted across tests for both immediate and delayed recall and increased across tests for immediate recall. We view the R-item advantage in accurate recall as consistent with the account they receive more rehearsal at study than do F-items. We view inaccurate recall as reflecting the bias to report items retrieved on an immediate test lacking instructional tags as F-items. On delayed tests, items retrieved lacking instructional tags are first assessed against a criterion point on a memory-strength continuum and those with strength above the criterion reported as R-items and those below the criterion as F-items.

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