Working memory capacity and the spacing effect in cued recall

Peter F. Delaney, Namrata R. Godbole, Latasha R. Holden, Yoojin Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spacing repetitions typically improves memory (the spacing effect). In three cued recall experiments, we explored the relationship between working memory capacity and the spacing effect. People with higher working memory capacity are more accurate on memory tasks that require retrieval relative to people with lower working memory capacity. The experiments used different retention intervals and lags between repetitions, but were otherwise similar. Working memory capacity and spacing of repetitions both improved memory in most of conditions, but they did not interact, suggesting additive effects. The results are consistent with the ACT-R model’s predictions, and with a study-phase recognition process underpinning the spacing effect in cued recall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-797
Number of pages14
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cued recall
  • lag effect
  • Spacing effect
  • working memory capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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