An investigation of the test-impaired new learning effect with associative recognition

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kathleen M. Bettencourt (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Thanujeni Pathman

Abstract: The test-impaired new learning (TINL) effect occurs when immediately after a test of old information, new information is presented to the learner. The effect, discovered by Finn and Roediger (2013), is that the new information is not remembered as well as if it were given to the learner after restudying the old information. This effect is important because it is counter to the well-established finding that testing leads to better recall than restudy. In the present research, we investigated the robustness of the TINL effect across two experiments that were identical except the type of test at final recall (associative recognition or cued recall). Participants studied word pairs (e.g., dog spoon), and during a second phase were tested on half the pairs and restudied the other half. Immediately after either a test or restudy trial, a new item was added to each pair (e.g. box), forming a triplet. In Experiment 1a (associative recognition test) participants were to identify pairs of old items as either same or rearranged. In Experiment 1b (cued recall test), participants were given the first item of the triplet and were to recall the second and third items. In Experiment 1a, we found improved memory for the old information after testing compared to restudy (testing effect); we found no TINL effect. In Experiment 1b, no testing effect was found, but there was evidence of TINL. This study adds to the small literature on the negative effects of testing and could have implications for future applied research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Memory, Test-impaired new learning, Testing, Updating
Memory $x Testing
Recollection (Psychology)
Learning, Psychology of

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