Repeated writing, or rehearsal by writing, is a common memory strategy for the Japanese, especially when learning new logographic characters. The to-be-remembered items are written down not as external prompts, as with reminder notes, but to be memorized in the course of writing them down over and over again. In this study, we investigated whether the strategy was effective, and if so, in which condition. Experiment 1 showed that repeated writing improved memory for graphic designs but not for Chinese characters, words, or syllables. Experiment 2 showed that the effect occurred for both Japanese and American subjects, suggesting that it was not the result of a cultural background associated with a logographic language. Instead, the effect seemed to be accounted for by the encoding specificity of visual-motor information, because repeated writing improved free recall— that included writing—but did not improve recognition (Experiment 3). In Experiment 4, the strategy was applied to learning the Arabic alphabet. Finally, similarities between repeated writing and
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Type 1 rehearsal are discussed. Part of this research was done during M.N.’s stay as a visiting scholar at Duke University.
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Naka, M., Naoi, H. The effect of repeated writing on memory. Memory & Cognition 23, 201–212 (1995). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03197222
- Free Recall
- Chinese Character
- Graphic Design
- Reading Condition
- American Subject