Evidence Against Associative Blocking as a Cause of Cue-Independent Retrieval-Induced Forgetting

Justin C. Hulbert, Geeta Shivde, Michael C. Anderson
2012 Experimental Psychology  
Selectively retrieving an item from long-term memory reduces the accessibility of competing traces, a phenomenon known as retrieval-12 induced forgetting (RIF). RIF exhibits cue independence, or the tendency for forgetting to generalize to novel test cues, suggesting an inhibitory 13 basis for this phenomenon. An alternative view (Camp, Pecher, & Schmidt, 2007; Camp et al., 2009; Perfect et al., 2004) suggests that using novel 14 test cues to measure cue independence actually engenders
more » ... ve interference when participants covertly supplement retrieval with practiced 15 cues that then associatively block retrieval. Accordingly, the covert-cueing hypothesis assumes that the relative strength of the practiced items at 16 final test -and not the inhibition levied on the unpracticed items during retrieval practice -underlies cue-independent forgetting. As such, this 17 perspective predicts that strengthening practiced items by any means, even if not via retrieval practice, should induce forgetting. Contrary to these 18 predictions, however, we present clear evidence that cue-independent forgetting is induced by retrieval practice and not by repeated study 19 exposures. This dissociation occurred despite significant, comparable levels of strengthening of practiced items in each case, and despite the use of 20 Anderson and Spellman's original (1995) independent probe method criticized by covert-cueing theorists as being especially conducive to Experimental Psychology 2011 U n c o r r e c t e d p r o o f s n o t f o r d i s t r i b u t i o n Ó 2011 Hogrefe Publishing Experimental Psychology 2011 U n c o r r e c t e d p r o o f s n o t f o r d i s t r i b u t i o n Experimental Psychology 2011 Ó 2011 Hogrefe Publishing U n c o r r e c t e d p r o o f s n o t f o r d i s t r i b u t i o n
doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000120 pmid:21768070 fatcat:skimhjjljzellcsr2qqjvkcveq