Feedback increases benefits but not costs of retrieval practice: Retrieval-induced forgetting is strength independent
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We examined how the provision of feedback affected two separate effects of retrieval practice: strengthening of practiced information and forgetting of related, unpracticed information. Feedback substantially increased recall of retrieval-practiced items. This unsurprising result shows once again that restudy opportunities boost the benefits of testing. In contrast, retrieval-induced forgetting was unaffected by the manipulation and occurred in equal size with or without feedback. These findings demonstrate strength independence of retrieval-induced forgetting and thus support a theoretical account assuming that an inhibitory mechanism causes retrieval-induced forgetting. According to this theory, inhibition resolves competition that arises during retrieval attempts but is unrelated to the consequences of retrieval practice concerning practiced items. The present results match these assumptions and contradict the theoretical alternative that blocking by strengthened information might explain retrieval-induced forgetting. We discuss our findings against the background of previous studies.
KeywordsInhibition in memory Blocking Forgetting Testing effect
This research was supported by Grant TE 891/3-3 of the German Research Council (DFG).
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