The Magnitude of the Testing Effect Is Independent of Retrieval Practice Performance

Thumbnail Image
Date
2024
Authors
Davis, Sara
Yurtsever, Asli
Myers, Sarah
Major Professor
Advisor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
American Psychological Association
Authors
Person
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Psychology
The Department of Psychology may prepare students with a liberal study, or for work in academia or professional education for law or health-services. Graduates will be able to apply the scientific method to human behavior and mental processes, as well as have ample knowledge of psychological theory and method.
Journal Issue
Is Version Of
Versions
Series
Department
Abstract
Practicing retrieval is a potent learning enhancer. Theoretical accounts of the testing effect generally suggest that the magnitude of the testing effect is dependent on retrieval practice performance, such that conditions that promote better retrieval practice performance should result in a greater testing effect. Empirical evidence, however, has been mixed. Although some studies showed a positive association between retrieval practice performance and the testing effect, others have shown either no relation or the reverse. In the present study, we experimentally manipulated retrieval practice performance using a retrieval-based response deadline manipulation and an encoding-based study trial manipulation. Across six experiments, the magnitude of the testing effect was independent of retrieval practice performance. However, when we aggregated the data across the experiments, participants with superior retrieval practice performance showed a greater testing effect—an individual difference. This dissociation between experimental and correlational outcomes suggests that the positive relation between retrieval practice performance and the testing effect is not causal, and indeed, simulation data showed that the correlation between retrieval practice performance and testing effect was an artifact. We discuss the challenges these findings present to existing accounts of the testing effect.
Comments
This article is published as Chan, J. C. K., Davis, S. D., Yurtsever, A., & Myers, S. J. (2024). The magnitude of the testing effect is independent of retrieval practice performance.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0001593. Posted with permission.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0). This license permits copying and redistributing the work in any medium or format for noncommercial use provided the original authors and source are credited and a link to the license is included in attribution. No derivative works are permitted under this license.
Description
Keywords
Citation
DOI
Subject Categories
Copyright
Collections