Memory & Cognition

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 604–616 | Cite as

Feedback enhances the positive effects and reduces the negative effects of multiple-choice testing

  • Andrew C. ButlerEmail author
  • Henry L. Roediger


Multiple-choice tests are used frequently in higher education without much consideration of the impact this form of assessment has on learning. Multiple-choice testing enhances retention of the material tested (the testing effect); however, unlike other tests, multiple-choice can also be detrimental because it exposes students to misinformation in the form of lures. The selection of lures can lead students to acquire false knowledge (Roediger & Marsh, 2005). The present research investigated whether feedback could be used to boost the positive effects and reduce the negative effects of multiple-choice testing. Subjects studied passages and then received a multiplechoice test with immediate feedback, delayed feedback, or no feedback. In comparison with the no-feedback condition, both immediate and delayed feedback increased the proportion of correct responses and reduced the proportion of intrusions (i.e., lure responses from the initial multiple-choice test) on a delayed cued recall test. Educators should provide feedback when using multiple-choice tests.


Correct Response Feedback Condition Khmer Rouge Report Phase Prior Stud 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington UniversitySt. Louis

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