Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
James H. Neely
W. Trammell Neill
The testing effect is the finding that taking a review test enhances performance on a final test relative to merely restudying the material. I investigated the role of transfer-appropriate processing in the testing effect using semantic cues to evoke conceptual processing and orthographic cues to evoke data-driven processing. After an initial study phase, subjects either restudied the material or took a cued recall test consisting of half semantic cues and half orthographic cues. Two days later, all of the subjects returned for a final cued recall test. The final test consisted of the exact same cue given for that target in the review phase, or a new cue that matched or mismatched the type of cue used for that target in the review phase. A “far transfer” effect of testing was found, with testing enhancing memory relative to restudying even in conditions in which the review test cue and final test cue involved different processing evoked by the mismatching type of cues. Consistent with transfer-appropriate processing, performance was the best when the review test and final test cues were identical (for the semantic cues), and was better when the type of cues matched than when they mismatched (whether the final test cues were semantic or orthographic). These results suggest that the testing effect is greater to the degree that the type of retrieval processing involved in the final test overlaps with the type of processing done during review.
Veltre, Mary T., "The Role of Transfer-Appropriate Processing in the Testing Effect" (2014). Psychology. 22.