Motivation and long-term memory


This experiment investigated the effects of motivation on long-term memory. It was hypothesized that when Ss are highly motivated to recall a nonsense syllable list they learned one week earlier, they recall the list better than Ss who are not motivated before recalling the same list. Motivation was found to have an effect only when introduced during the actual learning of the list, one week before recall. It had no effect on trace utilization when introduced just prior to recall one week after learning.


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Correspondence to Barbara Ann Heinrich.

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1. This report is based on a Masters Thesis, University of Washington, 1968.

2. The author wishes to thank L. R. Beach for sponsoring this thesis and Wanda Braithwaite and Scott Barclay for their assistance.

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Heinrich, B.A. Motivation and long-term memory. Psychon Sci 12, 149–150 (1968).

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  • Learning Phase
  • Motivational Factor
  • High Motivation
  • Original Learning
  • Trace Formation