Testing can counteract proactive interference by integrating competing information

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chris Wahlheim, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Testing initially learned information before presenting new information has been shown to counteract the deleterious effects of proactive interference by segregating competing sources of information. The present experiments were conducted to demonstrate that testing can also have its effects in part by integrating competing information. Variations of classic A–B, A–D paired-associate learning paradigms were employed that included two lists of word pairs and a cued-recall test. Repeated pairs appeared in both lists (A–B, A–B), control pairs appeared in List 2 only (A–B, C–D), and changed pairs appeared with the same cue in both lists but with different responses (A–B, A–D). The critical manipulation was whether pairs were tested or restudied in an interpolated phase that occurred between Lists 1 and 2. On a final cued-recall test, participants recalled List 2 responses and then indicated when they recollected that responses had earlier changed between lists. The change recollection measure indexed the extent to which competing responses were integrated during List 2. Change was recollected more often for tested than for restudied pairs. Proactive facilitation was obtained in cued recall when change was recollected, whereas proactive interference was obtained when change was not recollected. These results provide evidence that testing counteracted proactive interference in part by making List 1 responses more accessible during List 2, thus promoting integration and increasing later recollection of change. These results have theoretical implications because they show that testing can counteract proactive interference by integrating or segregating competing information.

Additional Information

Memory & Cognition, 43(1), 27-38
Language: English
Date: 2015
Proactive interference, Testing effects, Change recollection, Reminding, Integration

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