Retrieval practice: the lack of transfer to deductive inferences
Retrieval practice has been shown to enhance later recall of information reviewed through testing, whereas final-test measures involving making inferences from the learned information have produced mixed results. In four experiments, we examined whether the benefits of retrieval practice could transfer to deductive inferences. Participants studied a set of related premises and then reviewed these premises either by rereading or by taking fill-in-the-blank tests. As was expected, the testing condition produced better final-test recall of the premises. However, performance on multiple-choice inference questions showed no enhancement from retrieval practice.
KeywordsTesting effect Transfer of learning Retrieval practice Deductive inference
This work was supported by a collaborative activity award to H. Pashler from the J. S. McDonnell Foundation, a MURI award from the Office of Naval Research (25684A), and an NSF Grant (SBE-0542013, G.W. Cottrell, PI). We thank Noriko Coburn for many thoughtful comments and Dorothy Uong, Monica Kullar, Matt Su, and Alison Bennett for collecting and/or scoring the data. We would also like to thank Andy Butler and Roddy Roediger for providing many helpful comments on a previous version of the manuscript.