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Answering questions after initial study guides attention during restudy

ABSTRACT

Though the testing-effect can be boosted by including a restudy phase after answering test questions, we do not know precisely why it does so. One possible explanation is being tested here. The present study measured attention allocation during initial reading and rereading with a remote eye tracker to gain information on the cognitive processes during restudy, with and without prior testing. The results show that at the final study moment, students in the study-test-condition attended longer to information pertaining to the initial test questions as compared to students in the study-only condition (i.e., who did not take the test). No differences in attention allocation were found for information only questioned on a posttest 1 week later. In addition, it was found that performance on the initial test questions heavily affected which information students restudy; students in the study-test-condition paid namely more attention to the answers of questions they answered incorrectly during the initial test than to the answers of the questions they answered correctly on the initial test.