Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 187–193 | Cite as

Enhancing learning and retarding forgetting: Choices and consequences

  • Harold PashlerEmail author
  • Doug Rohrer
  • Nicholas J. Cepeda
  • Shana K. Carpenter
Applying cognitive psychology to education


Our research on learning enhancement has been focusing on the consequences for learning and forgetting of some of the more obvious and concrete choices that arise in instruction, including questions such as these: How does spacing of practice affect retention of information over significant retention intervals (up to 1 year)? Do spacing effects generalize beyond recall of verbal materials? Is feedback needed to promote learning, and must it be immediate? Although retrieval practice has been found to enhance learning in comparison with additional study, does it actually reduce the rate of forgetting? Can retrieval practice effects be extended to nonverbal materials? We suggest that as we begin to find answers to these questions, it should become possible for cognitive psychology to offer nonobvious advice that can be applied in a variety of instructional contexts to facilitate learning and reduce forgetting.


Retention Interval Spacing Effect Retrieval Practice Percent Correct Vocabulary Learning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Pashler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Doug Rohrer
    • 2
  • Nicholas J. Cepeda
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shana K. Carpenter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, 0109University of California at San DiegoLa Jolla
  2. 2.University of South FloridaTampa
  3. 3.University of ColoradoBoulder

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