Retroactive Inhibition in Free Recall as a Function of First- and Second-List Organization

TitleRetroactive Inhibition in Free Recall as a Function of First- and Second-List Organization
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1969
AuthorsWatts, G. H., & Anderson R. C.
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Volume81
Pagination595-597
Date PublishedSeptember
ISBN Number0022-1015
Keywordscollege students, free recall & retroactive inhibition, Human, Interference (Learning), Recall Learning, Stimulus Similarity, successive lists with same vs. different categories, Verbal Learning
AbstractGroups that received a high-organized 1st list (H), containing words in obvious categories, required significantly fewer trials to reach a criterion of 1 perfect recall than groups that received a low-organized list (L), composed of unrelated words. The intervening task consisted of 4 trials on 1 of 3 lists: HS, high-organized in the same categories as H; HD, high-organized but with different categories from H; or L2, a 2nd low-organized list. 2 control groups completed arithmetic problems. When successive lists involved similar organization, there was marked retroactive inhibition and a decline in the level of clustering. Measures of clustering and subjective organization during original learning were positively related to number of words recalled, except when 2 lists with similar organization were presented, in which case the relationship was negative. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)