The Influence of Directional Associations on Directed Forgetting and Interference

Lili Sahakyan, Leilani B. Goodmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two experiments examined how cross-list directional associations influenced list-method directed forgetting and the degree of interference observed on each list. Each List 1 item had a (a) bidirectionally related item on List 2 (chip ←→ potato), (b) forward association with an item on List 2 (chip → wood), (c) backward association from an item on List 2 (chip ← chisel), or (d) no relationship with List 2 items. The results revealed that associative relationships that eliminated retroactive interference in the baseline condition also eliminated the directed forgetting costs. In contrast, associative relationships did not affect List 2 recall in the forget group, which remained unchanged across experimental conditions. However, certain conditions reduced proactive interference in the remember group, thereby eliminating the benefits of directed forgetting. The directed forgetting costs and benefits were observed independently of each other. The authors propose that these effects emerged from a combination of item and context strengthening induced by different associative directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1049
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • context
  • directed forgetting
  • directional associations
  • interference
  • similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Directional Associations on Directed Forgetting and Interference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this