Does the benefit of testing depend on lag, and if so, why? Evaluating the elaborative retrieval hypothesis

  title={Does the benefit of testing depend on lag, and if so, why? Evaluating the elaborative retrieval hypothesis},
  author={Katherine A. Rawson and Kalif E. Vaughn and Shana K. Carpenter},
  journal={Memory \& Cognition},
Despite the voluminous literatures on testing effects and lag effects, surprisingly few studies have examined whether testing and lag effects interact, and no prior research has directly investigated why this might be the case. To this end, in the present research we evaluated the elaborative retrieval hypothesis (ERH) as a possible explanation for why testing effects depend on lag. Elaborative retrieval involves the activation of cue-related information during the long-term memory search for… 
The Testing Effect Under Divided Attention
Rec retrieval improved final recall whereas DA disrupted final recall, and the encoding effects of retrieval seem resilient to distraction which has implications for theories of the testing effect.
Attention and the testing effect.
Final recall was substantially reduced by DA in the restudy condition but not in the retrieval condition, and this pattern was found for related and unrelated word pairs, with feedback during retrieval practice and without, for immediate as well as delayed final tests.
The testing effect for mediator final test cues and related final test cues in online and laboratory experiments
The variability in the testing effect for related cues in online experiments could point toward moderators of the related cue short-term testing effect.
Testing the Retrieval Effort Theory
Abstract. Testing effect refers to the phenomenon that, relative to relearning, retrieval practice enhances delayed memory performance. In two experiments, this study tested the retrieval effort
The testing effect in immediate recognition: tests of the episodic context account
ABSTRACT Three experiments explored when testing produces immediate advantages over restudying in old/new recognition tests. According to the episodic context account, the study context is reinstated
The underlying mechanism behind testing effect: Perspective from the episodic context account
The Episodic Context Account, proposed by Karpicke and colleages in 2014, contends that context reinstatement in retrieval mode, rather than semantic elaboration, plays a key role in the formation of testing effect.
Does retrieval practice depend on semantic cues? Assessing the fuzzy trace account of the testing effect
ABSTRACT Retrieval practice enhances long-term retention more than restudying; a phenomenon called the testing effect. The fuzzy trace explanation predicts that a testing effect will already emerge
Divided attention and the encoding effects of retrieval
The encoding effects of retrieval appear resilient to distraction, even using a memory task that is more effortful and easily disrupted by DA (i.e., free recall), and these results are inconsistent with elaboration and effort accounts of retrieval-based learning.
The Testing Effect and Far Transfer: The Role of Exposure to Key Information
The results of the present experiments demonstrate that Butler’s (2010) testing effect in far transfer is robust and focused exposure to key information appears to be a significant factor in this far transfer testing effect.
Transfer of Test-Enhanced Learning: Meta-Analytic Review and Synthesis
The findings of the first comprehensive meta-analytic review into testing yield learning that transfers to different contexts motivate a three-factor framework for transfer of test-enhanced learning and have practical implications for the effective use of practice testing in educational and other training contexts.


Cue strength as a moderator of the testing effect: the benefits of elaborative retrieval.
  • Shana K. Carpenter
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 2009
Results indicate that the activation of elaborative information-which would occur to a greater extent during testing than restudying--may be one mechanism that underlies the testing effect.
When does testing enhance retention? A distribution-based interpretation of retrieval as a memory modifier.
The results suggest that the differential consequences of initial testing versus restudying reflect, in part, differences in how items distributions are shifted by testing and studying.
Why Testing Improves Memory: Mediator Effectiveness Hypothesis
Supporting the mediator effectiveness hypothesis, test-restudy practice resulted in mediators that were more likely to be retrieved and morelikely to elicit targets on a final test.
Why is test-restudy practice beneficial for memory? An evaluation of the mediator shift hypothesis.
  • M. Pyc, K. Rawson
  • Economics
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 2012
The authors evaluated the mediator shift hypothesis, which states that test-restudy practice is beneficial for memory because retrieval failures during practice allow individuals to evaluate the effectiveness of mediators and to shift from less effective to more effective mediators.
Impoverished cue support enhances subsequent retention: Support for the elaborative retrieval explanation of the testing effect
It is suggested that an intervening test may be most beneficial to final retention when it provides more potential for elaborative processing.
The testing effect and the retention interval: questions and answers.
The results strengthen the evidence for the involvement of different processes underlying the effects of studying and testing, and support the hypothesis that the testing effect is grounded in retrieval-related processes.
Why do rereading lag effects depend on test delay
Free recall enhances subsequent learning
A paradigm is introduced that can measure the indirect, potentiating effect of free recall tests on subsequent learning, and a hypothesis for why tests may have this potentiate effect is tested.
Test-potentiated learning: distinguishing between direct and indirect effects of tests.
The experiment presented here uses conditional probability to disentangle test-potentiated learning from the direct effects of retrieval practice, and indicates that unsuccessful retrieval attempts enhance the effectiveness of subsequent restudy, demonstrating that tests do potentiate subsequent learning.