, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 130-133

Incidental retrieval processes influence explicit test performance with data-limited cues


In two experiments, the influence of incidental retrieval processes on explicit test performance was tested. In Experiment 1, subjects studied words under four conditions (auditory-shallow, auditory-deep, visual-shallow, and visual-deep). One group of subjects received auditory and visual word-fragment completion; another group received auditory and visual word-fragment cued recall. Results indicated that changes in sensory modality between study and test reduced both recall and priming performances; levels of processing significantly affected only the cued recall test. These results indicated that incidental retrieval processes might affect explicit test performance when retrieval cues are data limited. Experiment 2 supported this conclusion by showing an effect of matching study and test modalities on explicit test performance with fragment but not with copy cues. Taken together, these results support Roediger and McDermott’s (1993) suggestion that explicit test performance is influenced by incidental retrieval processes when data-limited retrieval cues are used.

This research was supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Grant A8632 to Endel Tulving. The authors would like to thank Vicki Masters and Maria Armilio for help in data collection. Experiment 1 was part of a master’s thesis by the first author, who would like to thank Endel Tulving for his help and encouragement during completion of the thesis and comments and suggestions on an earlier draft. Lars Nyberg is now at the Department of Psychology, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.