Proactive interference is the appearing of a problem in a new learning, induced by the recall of previous information. An example would be when two word lists are learned sequentially: first list A and list B after. Proactive interference occurs when it is required to recall list B, but words of the A list are recalled instead.
Proactive interference is a memory phenomenon present in daily life constantly (Baddeley et al. 2009). An example can be seen when the password of your e-mail account changes, but you keep typing the old one instead.
One of the first authors to mention proactive interference was Underwood (1957). In his studies, he asked participants to learn nonsense syllables, observing high levels of forgetting after 24 h. Underwood thought that it could be due to the hard demand of study tasks present in students that used to be the experimental subjects of his studies. The...
- Baddeley, A., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2009). Memory. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar