Additional boundary condition for list-method directed forgetting: The effect of presentation format

Almut Hupbach, Lili Sahakyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The attempt to forget some recently encoded information renders this information difficult to recall in a subsequent memory test. "Forget" instructions are only effective when followed by learning of new material. In the present study, we asked whether the new material needs to match the format of the to-be-forgotten information for forgetting effects to emerge. Participants studied visually presented words or line drawings (L1) and afterward were instructed to remember or forget these items. Then a 2nd conceptually unrelated list (L2) was presented that either matched or mismatched the format of L1. Forgetting effects were observed only when the lists matched in format but not when the formats mismatched. This result establishes an important boundary condition of directed forgetting and suggests that when salient retrieval cues guide retrieval, they eliminate the effect of the "forget" cue. Implications for theories of directed forgetting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-601
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Context change
  • Directed forgetting
  • Encoding format
  • Episodic memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Additional boundary condition for list-method directed forgetting: The effect of presentation format'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this