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A common method used by memory scholars to enhance retention is to make materials more challenging to learn—a benefit termed desirable difficulties. Recently, researchers have investigated the efficacy of Sans Forgetica, a perceptually disfluent/distinctive font which may increase processing effort required at study and enhance memory as a result. We examined the effects of Sans Forgetica relative to a standard control font (Arial) on both correct memory and associative memory errors using the Deese/Roediger–McDermott (DRM) false memory paradigm, to evaluate Sans Forgetica effects on overall memory accuracy. Across four experiments, which included nearly 300 participants, Sans Forgetica was found to have no impact on correct or false memory of DRM lists relative to a standard Arial control font, regardless of whether font type was manipulated within or between subjects or whether memory was assessed via free recall or recognition testing. Our results indicate that Sans Forgetica is ineffective for improving memory accuracy even when accounting for associative memory errors.

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Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications



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