Two Routes to Memory Benefits of Guessing

Katarzyna Zawadzka , Maciej Hanczakowski


Attempting to guess an answer to a memory question has repeatedly been shown to benefit memory for the answer compared to merely reading what the answer is, even when the guess is incorrect. In this study, we investigate 2 potential explanations for this effect in a single experimental procedure. According to the semantic explanation, the benefits of guessing require a clear semantic relationship between the cue, the guess, and the target, and these benefits arise at the stage of guessing. The attentional explanation places the locus of the effect at the stage of feedback presentation and ignores the issue of semantic relatedness. To disentangle the 2 mechanisms, we used homograph cues with at least 2 different meanings (e.g., arms) and asked participants to either study an intact cuetarget pair or guess a word related to each cue before being presented with the target. This allowed us to compare memory performance on trials in which participants’ guesses tapped the same meaning of the cue as the later presented target (e.g., a guess legs for a pair armshug), versus a different meaning (e.g., weapons). In 4 experiments, we demonstrated that both the semantic and the attentional mechanism operate in the guessing task, but their roles are different: Semantic relatedness supports memory for cue-to-target associations, whereas increased attention to feedback benefits memory for targets alone. We discuss these findings in the context of educational utility of errorful learning
Author Katarzyna Zawadzka
Katarzyna Zawadzka,,
, Maciej Hanczakowski (Wydział Psychologii)
Maciej Hanczakowski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, ISSN 0278-7393, (N/A 140 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Englisherrorful learning, testing, feedback, judgments of learning, education
ASJC Classification3310 Linguistics and Language; 1203 Language and Linguistics; 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Languageen angielski
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Oświadczenie_publ_Hanczakowski_Two routes to memory.pdf 369.51 KB
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.377; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.319 (2) - 2017=3.019 (5)
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