Does test-enhanced learning transfer for triple associates?

Steven C. Pan, Carol M. Wong, Zachary E. Potter, Jonathan Mejia, Timothy C. Rickard
2015 Memory & Cognition  
Test-enhanced learning and transfer for tripleassociate word stimuli was assessed in three experiments. In each experiment, training and final-test trials involved the presentation of two words per triple associate (triplet), with the third word having to be retrieved. In agreement with the prior literature on different stimuli, training through testing with feedback yielded markedly better final-test performance than did restudy. However, in contrast to the positive transfer reported for
more » ... associate stimuli, minimal or no positive transfer was observed, relative to a restudy control, from a trained cue combination (e.g., A, B, ?) to other cue combinations from the same triplet that required a different response (e.g., B, C, ?). That result also held when two unique cue combinations per triplet were tested during training, and for triplets with low and high average associative strengths. Supplementary analyses provided insight into the overall transfer effect: An incorrect response during training appears to yield positive transfer relative to restudy, whereas a correct response appears to yield no, or even negative, transfer. Crossexperiment analyses indicated that test-enhanced learning is not diminished when two or three cue combinations are presented during training. Thus, even though learning through testing is highly specific, testing on all possible stimulus-response combinations remains the most efficient strategy for the learning of triple associates.
doi:10.3758/s13421-015-0547-x pmid:26324093 fatcat:myrhg5tfqvelni4cmzgsrj2bki