Amount of postcue encoding predicts amount of directed forgetting.

Research paper by Bernhard B Pastötter, Karl-Heinz KH Bäuml

Indexed on: 08 Jan '10Published on: 08 Jan '10Published in: Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition


In list-method directed forgetting, participants are cued to intentionally forget a previously studied list (List 1) before encoding a subsequently presented list (List 2). Compared with remember-cued participants, forget-cued participants typically show impaired recall of List 1 and improved recall of List 2, referred to as List 1 forgetting and List 2 enhancement. In 3 experiments, we examined how amount of postcue encoding influences directed forgetting. Two results emerged dissociating List 1 forgetting from List 2 enhancement. First, an increase in amount of postcue encoding led to an increase in List 1 forgetting but did not affect List 2 enhancement. Second, the forget cue influenced all List 1 items but affected only early List 2 items. A 2-mechanism account of directed forgetting is suggested, according to which List 1 forgetting reflects reduced accessibility of List 1 items, and List 2 enhancement arises from a reset of encoding processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).