Individual differences in forgetting strategies

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nathaniel Lloyd Foster (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Lili Sahakyan

Abstract: Two experiments employed a combination of item method and list method directed forgetting methodologies (Bjork, LaBerge, & Legrand, 1968). Participants studied two lists of items, half of which were subsequently cued to-be-forgotten (TBF) or to-be-remembered (TBR). After the first study list, half of the participants were told to forget the entire list, whereas the remaining participants were told to remember it for a later test (e.g., list-method). The list-method forgetting instruction impaired recall of List 1 TBF and TBR items to the same extent. However, it enhanced recall of List 2 TBR items, but not TBF items. These results were found only among participants who reported engaging in effortful forgetting, whereas participants who reported doing nothing showed no effects of list-method directed forgetting. In Experiment 2, along with receiving a mid-list forget instruction, participants were given specific types of forgetting strategies that were most frequently reported in Experiment 1. The results showed that some strategies produced greater forgetting of List 1 items than others. Taken together, these findings highlight the role of effort required to achieve intentional forgetting. Implications for directed forgetting theories are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Cognitive Psychology
Memory $x Testing.

Email this document to