Towards Augmented Human Memory: Retrieval-Induced Forgetting and Retrieval Practice in an Interactive, End-of-Day Review

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Abstract

The authors report 6 experiments that examined the contention that an end-of-day review could lead to augmentation in human memory. In Experiment 1, participants in the study phase were presented with a campus tour of different to-be-remembered objects in different university locations. Each to-be-remembered object was presented with an associated specific comment. Participants were then shown the location name and photographs of half of the objects from half of the locations, and they were asked to try to name the object and recall the associated comment specific to each item. Following a filled delay, participants were presented with the name of each campus location and were asked to free recall the to-be-remembered objects. Relative to the recall from the unpracticed location categories, participants recalled the names of significantly more objects that they practiced (retrieval practice) and significantly fewer unpracticed objects from the practiced locations (retrieval-induced forgetting, RIF). These findings were replicated in Experiment 2 using a campus scavenger hunt in which participants selected their own stimuli from experimenter’s categories. Following an examination of factors that maximized the effects of RIF and retrieval practice in the laboratory (Experiment 3), the authors applied these findings to the campus scavenger hunt task to create different retrieval practice schedules to maximize and minimize recall of items based on experimenter-selected (Experiment 4) and participant-selected items using both category-cued free recall (Experiment 5) and item-specific cues (Experiment 6). Their findings support the claim that an interactive, end-of-day review could lead to augmentation in human memory.

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