Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 57–80 | Cite as

Memory for action events: The power of enactment

  • Ronald L. Cohen
Article

Abstract

Memory researchers have traditionally made use of verbal materials in their empirical studies. During the last decade or so, there has been a burgeoning interest in memory for other classes of materials — in particular, memory for action events. This report reviews briefly some of the research in this area. The emphasis is on the recall of series of instructions, such aslift the pen, put on the ring. The core finding in those studies is that enactment of the instructions during the study phase, either by the subject or by the experimenter, improves performance on a subsequent recall test. Some explanations for the mnemonic effect of enactment are examined, as also are subsidiary issues, such as population and individual differences in the recall of action events. Implications for education are discussed, including the possibility of a two-way interaction between enactment and cognition.

Key words

cognition motor activity individual differences memory 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald L. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Glendon CollegeYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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