Distributing the presentation of sublists of words into multiple learning rooms produced better free recall scores than a single learning room condition for subjects who were given a comprehensive recall test in a new environment. No such effects occurred on recognition or list differentiation tests in Experiment 2, implying a retrieval explanation rather than one relying upon learning or list differentiation effects. Experiment 3 found that the contextual dependence of recall li.e., recall tested in a learning context is better than recall tested in a new context was nullified by using multiple learning rooms, rather than a single room for input. The data are consistent with an explanation that states that the multiple learning rooms become associated with the different sublists during learning and subsequently act as memory landmarks that guide the course of retrieval.
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This research was conducted at Texas A&M University. Thanks are due to Art Glenberg and Ernst Rothkopf for their helpful comments concerning the research, to J. B. Francks, Joy Kinney-Green, and Richard Gurm, who conducted the experiments, and to Robert A. Bjork, Eric Eich, and anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier versign of this manuscript.
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Smith, S.M. Enhancement of recall using multiple environmental contexts during learning. Memory & Cognition 10, 405–412 (1982). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03197642
- Free Recall
- Retention Interval
- Recognition Test
- Free Recall Test
- List Differentiation