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Unblocking Memory through Directed Forgetting

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journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2014 by Rebecca H. Koppel, Benjamin C. Storm
The ability to remember an item can be blocked, or negatively primed, by exposure to related items. For example, ALLERGY is less likely to be generated given the word fragment A_L_ _GY if one is first exposed to ANALOGY (Smith & Tindell, 1997). We examined whether this memory blocking effect is influenced by list-method directed forgetting. A total of 144 participants learned two lists of items, each consisting of words that were designed to negatively prime performance on a subsequent word fragment completion task. Participants who were told to forget List 1 before learning List 2 suffered significantly less memory blocking owing to the negative primes from List 1 than participants who were told to remember List 1. These results suggest that directed forgetting can modify the memory blocking effect by affecting the accessibility of information in memory.

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Publisher Statement

Post print version of article may differ from published version. This is an electronic version of an article published in Koppel RH, Storm BC. Unblocking memory through directed forgetting. Journal of Cognitive Psychology. 2012;24(8):901-907. Journal of Cognitive Psychology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ DOI:10.1080/20445911.2012.716822

Citation

Koppel RH, Storm BC. Unblocking memory through directed forgetting. Journal of Cognitive Psychology. 2012;24(8):901-907. DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2012.716822

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Language

en_US

issn

2044-5911

Issue date

01/12/2012

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