Theoretical Implications of Extralist Probes for Directed Forgetting

Lili Sahakyan, Leilani B. Goodmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 5 experiments, the authors examined the influence of associative information in list-method directed forgetting, using the extralist cuing procedure (Nelson & McEvoy, 2005). Targets were studied in the absence of cues, but during retrieval, related cues were used to test their memory. Experiment 1 manipulated the degree of resonant connections from associates of the target back to the target. Experiment 2 varied the degree of connectivity of associates of the target. Experiment 3 varied the size of the associative neighborhood of the target. Experiment 4 varied the direct target-to-cue strength, and Experiment 5 varied the indirect strength between the cue and the target. Reliable directed forgetting impairment emerged in all experiments. Furthermore, directed forgetting reduced the effects of the associates contributing to the target activation strength (Experiments 1-2), and it also reduced the effects of the associates contributing to the cue-target intersection strength (Experiments 3-5). Together, these results support the context account and challenge the inhibitory interpretation of directed forgetting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-937
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Context change
  • Cued recall
  • Directed forgetting
  • Independent probes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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