Title

Evaluating the Contributions of Task Expectancy in the Testing and Guessing Benefits On Recognition Memory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-3-2018

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Recently, we have shown that two types of initial testing (recall of a list or guessing of critical items repeated over 12 study/test cycles) improved final recognition of related and unrelated word lists relative to restudy. These benefits were eliminated, however, when test instructions were manipulated within subjects and presented after study of each list, procedures designed to minimise expectancy of a specific type of upcoming test [Huff, Balota, & Hutchison, 2016. The costs and benefits of testing and guessing on recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42, 1559–1572. doi:10.1037/xlm0000269], suggesting that testing and guessing effects may be influenced by encoding strategies specific for the type of upcoming task. We follow-up these experiments by examining test-expectancy processes in guessing and testing. Testing and guessing benefits over restudy were not found when test instructions were presented either after (Experiment 1) or before (Experiment 2) a single study/task cycle was completed, nor were benefits found when instructions were presented before study/task cycles and the task was repeated three times (Experiment 3). Testing and guessing benefits emerged only when instructions were presented before a study/task cycle and the task was repeated six times (Experiments 4A and 4B). These experiments demonstrate that initial testing and guessing can produce memory benefits in recognition, but only following substantial task repetitions which likely promote task-expectancy processes.

Publication Title

Memory

Volume

26

Issue

8

First Page

1065

Last Page

1083

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