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Integration as a general boundary condition on retrieval-induced forgetting

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/1999
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number3
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)608-629
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


When people form connections between several memories that share a common retrieval cue, the tendency for those memories to interfere with one another during later retrieval attempts is often eliminated. Three experiments examined whether forming such connections might also protect memories from retrieval-induced forgetting, the phenomenon in which retrieving some associates of a cue leads to the suppression of others that interfere during retrieval (M. C. Anderson, E. L. Bjork, & R. A. Bjork, 1994). All 3 experiments found that instructing subjects to interrelate category exemplars during an initial study phase reduced retrieval-induced forgetting. Postexperimental questionnaires indicated that even when people were not instructed to interrelate exemplars, they often did so spontaneously and that this spontaneous integration also protected people from impairment. These findings, together with others obtained in different experimental settings, suggest that complex knowledge structures composed of highly interconnected components may be especially resistant to retrieval-induced forgetting.