The effects of list-method directed forgetting on recognition memory

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It is an almost universally accepted claim that the list-method procedure of inducing directed forgetting does not affect recognition. However, previous studies have omitted a critical comparison in reaching this conclusion. This article reports evidence that recognition of material learned after cue presentation is superior for conditions in which the material that preceded cue presentation was designated as to-be-forgotten. Because the absence of an effect of directed-forgetting instructions on recognition is the linchpin of the theoretical claim that retrieval inhibition and not selective rehearsal underlies that effect, the present results call into question the need to postulate a role for inhibition in directed forgetting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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