Influence of Retrieval Mode on Effects of Production: Evidence for Costs in Free Recall

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Abstract

Study modality (visual, auditory) of words as well as production mode (reading aloud, writing down) have been shown to influence the production effect (PE). When study words are presented visually, reading them aloud yields superior memory. However, when the same study words are presented aurally, writing them down leads to superior memory. Missing in PE studies is the variable of retrieval mode (written, aloud), which was addressed in the present study. In a pair of experiments, we manipulated the 3 variables-study modality, production mode, and retrieval mode-in a factorial fashion. With visual study, aloud production mode (vocalizing) was found to be superior to written production, in both retrieval modes (written and aloud). However, the difference between the productions was significantly smaller in the aloud retrieval mode relative to the written retrieval mode. With auditory study, written production mode was superior to aloud production mode, in the written as well as in the aloud retrieval modes. Here, the difference between the productions was significantly smaller in the written relative to the aloud retrieval mode. In other words, the difference between productions was smaller for the retrieval mode that matched the superior production. We interpret these findings using a retrieval-cost account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • free recall
  • production effect
  • retrieval mode
  • retroactive interference
  • study modality

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