, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 531-552

Retrieval inhibition from part-set cuing: A persisting enigma in memory research

Abstract

When people are asked to recall words from a list they have just studied or to produce as many items as possible from a well-known category (e.g., states of the United States), having available a subset of the items as cues often does not facilitate retrieval of the remaining items and sometimes inhibits it. The finding has been obtained many times with a variety of experimental tasks including recall from categorized and noncategorized lists and retrieval from very long-term memory. This paper reviews the studies that have yielded the effect, and considers several explanations of it that have been proposed. None of these explanations is viewed to be entirely adequate and compelling.

This work was sponsored, m part, by Contract 400-80-0031 with the National Institute of Education.