Examining the impact of list size and false memories on retrieval-induced forgetting
Gonsalves, Chavon D.
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When the successful practice and retrieval of a target memory suppresses its closely associated competitors, the cognitive phenomenon known as Retrieval-Induced Forgetting (RIF) has been indicated. RIF is observed in various memory systems and people in varying age groups are susceptible to its effects. One boundary condition that consistently resists RIF is known as integration, which refers to gathering competing memories into one structure to facilitate memory retrieval. Integration may occur with or without experimenter-supplied instructions. Despite serving as a reliable strategy to improve list recall, integration may lead to adverse effects such as false memories, which has been examined with various RIF studies that involve the use of semantically related word lists. Subjects often falsely recall specific lure words and it is believed to be due to integration. Thus, the first purpose of this study is to examine how the tendency to make associations (e.g., measure through false recall) impacts RIF effect size. Our second purpose refers to the absent research that has examined how and to what extent RIF and integration are impacted by varying list sizes. We hope to better understand forgetting (i.e. RIF) in relation to the effects of memories and begin developing the answer for if people who forget less are predisposed to produce more false memories.