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Retrieval practice in relation to material difficulty and episodicmemory: an examination of the episodic context account
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Intentional retrieval of information from memory (also known as retrieval practice or test-enhanced learning) produces better long-term retention compared to restudy, a phenomenon known as the testing effect. While this effect is robust and has gained strong support in empirical research, the mechanisms are less well understood. The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the effects of retrieval practice in relation to material difficulty and individual variations in episodic memory across time. The episodic context account, a theoretical explanation for the testing effect in which episodic memory plays a central role, was point of departure. Forty-three university students were divided into two experimental conditions (study-test and study). The to-be-learned material was 60 word-pairs (30 easy and 30 difficult). Learning was assessed by means of a cued recall test at three occasions (immediately, one week later, and two weeks later) and a measure of episodic memory was collected. Results revealed a significant testing effect across time and its relations to material difficulty and individual variations in episodic memory are analyzed and discussed. The results supported the testing effect paradigm and the episodic context account and indicated that retrieval practice is a useful and effective learning strategy.

Abstract [sv]

Framplockning av information från långtidsminnet genom testning (s.k. retrieval practice eller testbaserat lärande) gör materialet lättare att minnas senare jämfört med upprepad inläsning. Denna testeffekt är robust och har starkt stöd i empirisk forskning men vilka mekanismer som ligger bakom är inte lika klarlagt. Denna uppsats ämnade att undersöka effekterna av testbaserat lärande i relation till materialets svårighetsgrad samt individuella variationer i episodiskt minne över tid. Utgångspunkten var “the episodic context account”, en teoretisk förklaring för testeffekten i vilket episodiskt minne spelar en central roll. Fyrtiotre universitetsstudenter delades in i två experimentella betingelser (läsning-testning och upprepad läsning). Individuell prestation på ett datorbaserat test som gick ut på att memorera lätta och svåra ordpar vid tre tidfällen (direkt, en vecka senare och två veckor senare) samt episodiskt minne mättes. Resultaten visade på en signifikant testeffekt över tid och testeffekten i relation till materialets svårighetsgrad och individuella variationer i episodisk minnesförmåga analyserades och diskuteras. Resultaten gav stöd för testeffekten och ”the episodic context account” och att testbaserat lärande är en användbar inlärningsstrategi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
learning, retrieval practice, the testing effect, episodic memory, the episodic context account
Keywords [sv]
inlärning, retrieval practice, testeffekten, episodiskt minne, the episodic context account
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-149222OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-149222DiVA, id: diva2:1219848
Subject / course
Masteruppsats i kognitionsvetenskap
Educational program
Master's Programme in Cognitive Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-25 Created: 2018-06-18 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
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