Delay-retention effect in natural classroom settings

John R. Surber, Richard C. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


144 high school students received either no feedback, immediate feedback, or delayed feedback following a 20-item multiple-choice test covering a meaningful passage. Presence or absence of feedback did not affect the probability of being right on a 1-wk retention test, given a right answer on the initial test. As expected, however, when the measure was the probability of being right on the retention test, given a wrong answer on the initial test, feedback proved significantly better than no feedback, and delayed feedback proved superior to immediate feedback. Results show that the delay-retention effect occurred under conditions approximating those of real instruction and confirm the interference-perseveration interpretation of the phenomenon. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-173
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1975
Externally publishedYes


  • immediate vs delayed vs no feedback following multiple choice test, 1-wk retention, high school students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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