Brief Reports

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 107-110

First online:

Maintenance rehearsal affects knowing, not remembering; elaborative rehearsal affects remembering, not knowing

  • John M. GardinerAffiliated withPsychology Department, City University
  • , Berthold GawlikAffiliated withPsychology Department, City University
  • , Alan Richardson-KlavehnAffiliated withPsychology Department, City University


In a directed-forgetting paradigm, each word in a study list was followed by a cue designating that word as eitherlearn orforget. This cue appeared after either a short or a long delay. It was assumed that a long delay would increase maintenance rehearsal of all the words, and that only the words followed by a learn cue would be rehearsed elaboratively. Moreover, because the interval between the words was constant, a short cue delay should allow more time for elaborative rehearsal. In a subsequent test, subjects maderemember orknow responses to indicate whether recognition of each word was accompanied by conscious recollection or by feelings of familiarity in the absence of conscious recollection. The hypothesis was that remembering depends on elaborative rehearsal, and knowing depends on maintenance rehearsal. In accord with this hypothesis, the learn-versus-forget designation influenced remember but not know responses, and there were more remember responses after the short cue delay; cue delay influenced know responses, regardless of word designation.