Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Cognitive Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 62, pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

James H Neely

Committee Members

W. Trammell Neill


paired associate, proactive interference, retroactive interference, testing effect, Retroactive interference (Psychology), Learning, Psychology of, Short-term memory, Recollection (Psychology)

Subject Categories

Cognitive Psychology | Psychology


In an A-B/A-C paradigm, testing A-B pairs before A-C learning reduces retroactive interference (RI, Halamish & Bjork, 2011) and proactive interference (PI, Wahlheim, 2015). In four experiments, after A-B and RI control pairs were studied in List 1, these pairs were either tested or restudied. A-C pairs and PI control pairs were then learned in List 2, followed by a final test on both lists or only List 1. Four procedural factors were manipulated: (1) Swahili-English pairs vs. weakly related English pairs, (2) List 1 restudy vs. test review between- vs. within-subjects, (3) some List 1 pairs studied vs. not studied in List 2, and (4) recall of only B or C targets vs. recall of both B and C targets to the A cues. When all four of these procedural factors matched those in Halamish and Bjork, testing reduced RI as in their experiment. Otherwise, A-B review testing increased or had a null effect on RI, and restudied A-B pairs showed retroactive facilitation, not RI. When pairs were related words and review tasks were manipulated within-subjects, testing reduced PI as in Wahlheim, whether or not (a) some pairs were repeated across Lists 1 and 2 and (b) only C or both B and C targets were to be recalled to the final-test A cues. These results were discussed in terms of test-potentiated learning based on integration of the B and C responses during A-C learning and within the framework of context-change theories of testing effects.