Too much of a good thing: frequent retrieval can impair immediate new learning
Interpolated testing can reduce mind-wandering and proactive interference, and improve note-taking. However, recent research using face-name-profession triads, has also shown that interpolated testing can impair new learning (Davis, Chan, & Wilford, 2017). In the current study, we further examined the impact of switching from testing to new learning, but with objectively-true materials. The study employed a 2 (Interpolated task: Test vs. Restudy) × 3 (Task-switch frequency: 0, 11, 35) between-participants design. In two experiments, participants restudied or retrieved originally-learned flag-country associations and learned new flag-capital (Experiment 1) or flag-export (Experiment 2) associations. Task-switch frequency varied such that participants switched to new learning trial(s) after every restudy/test trial (35-switches), after every three restudy/test trials (11-switches), or did not switch at all (0-switch). The results further demonstrate that retrieving previously-learned material can impair learning of new associations by replicating Davis et al. (2017) with objectively-true materials.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Karaca, M., Kurpad, N., Wilford, M.M., David, S.D. (2020) Too much of a good thing: frequent retrieval can impair immediate new learning. Memory, 28(10), 1181-1190.