Transitive Inference and The Testing Effect: The Effects of Testing on Knowledge Structure Formation Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Picklesimer, Milton
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Compared to restudying, testing has often been found to enhance memory. This is called the testing effect. However, the causes of this effect are not entirely understood. Testing could merely enhance isolated stimulus-response associations (i.e., item memory) or also enhance the unifying structure of the memoranda (i.e., relational memory). Recent studies have examined these issues with mixed results. The current study employed a transitive inference paradigm to teach participants a novel, highly inter-related knowledge structure comprised of several basic premises. Encoding strategy was manipulated between subjects. Both groups took a final test that assessed memory for the basic premises and their ability to make transitive inferences about them. Experiment 1 found no differences between the groups. After using a stronger manipulation in Experiment 2, it was found that, for participants who indicated awareness of the hierarchical structure of the materials, there were no differences between encoding conditions. For unaware participants, however, the restudying group showed superior performance on transitive inference problems. Thus, the current study identified conditions under which testing does not enhance inferential ability or memory for the unifying structure of the memoranda.
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  • In Copyright
  • Mulligan, Neil
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2012

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