Retrieval-induced forgetting occurs in tests of item recognition

Psychon Bull Rev. 2004 Feb;11(1):125-30. doi: 10.3758/bf03206471.


Using the retrieval-practice paradigm (Anderson, R. A. Bjork, & E. L. Bjork, 1994), we tested whether or not retrieval-induced forgetting could be found in item recognition tests. In Experiment 1, retrieval practice on items from semantic categories depressed recognition of nonpracticed items from the same categories. Similar results were found in Experiment 2 in a more stringent source test for practiced, nonpracticed, and new items. These results conceptually replicate those of previous retrieval-induced forgetting studies done with cued recall (e.g., Anderson et al., 1994). Our findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis that item-specific cues during retrieval will eliminate retrieval interference in the retrieval-practice paradigm (Butler, Williams, Zacks, & Maki, 2001). We discuss our results in relation to other retrieval interference and inhibition effects in recall and recognition.

MeSH terms

  • Cues
  • Humans
  • Memory*
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Semantics