Delay-retention effect with multiple-choice tests

Raymond W. Kulhavy, Richard C. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A total of 194 high school juniors and seniors completed a multiple-choice test on topics in introductory psychology under various conditions of immediate and delayed feedback. On the same test 1 wk. later, delayed-feedback groups performed significantly better than immediate-feedback groups. Performance was best for groups that studied the feedback booklet prior to the initial test. Analyses were performed on (a) the likelihood of forgetting responses to the lst test over the delay interval, (b) the probability of repeating initial errors on the final test, and (c) feedback study-time. Results support the conclusion that the delay-retention effect is primarily caused by the forgetting of interference-producing errors during the delay interval and, secondarily, to increased attention to the feedback after a delay. (23 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1972
Externally publishedYes


  • delayed feedback, delay-retention effect with multiple-choice tests, high school students
  • immediate &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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