Event Title

Variability in the Benefits of Retrieval Practice: An Individual Differences Approach

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

30-4-2015 11:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 1:55 PM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Retrieval practice has a greater benefit on final testing compared to restudying or rereading material (Roediger et al., 2011). This is known as the Testing Effect. The Testing Effect is very robust and has been observed in middle-school children, college students, and older adults. It occurs for paired associates, prose passages, visual materials, and foreign language vocabulary. However, there is limited work examining individual differences in the effectiveness of retrieval practice in terms of cognitive ability (Dunlosky et al., 2013). Here, we examined whether individual differences in ability and the difficulty of the to-be-learned material moderated the testing effect. Two hundred participants studied Swahili-English words pairs that varied in difficulty from easy to hard and the either restudied the pairs three more times or took three cued recall tests with feedback. A final test was administered after two days. We measured performance in a number of cognitive and behavioral domains (e.g., working memory, reasoning, GRIT, need for cognition, study habits). During the encoding phase, the proportion recalled correctly increased as testing blocks increased. Overall, the testing effect was replicated, although considerable variability was present. We found no evidence for any effects of individual differences in WMC or personality on the magnitude of the testing effect. However, when comparing low v. high fluid intelligence (gF) individuals, we found an interaction between group and pair difficulty: Low gF individuals showing a greater effect of testing for easier, but not difficult items, whereas the opposite was true for individuals high in gF. This suggests that students at different levels of ability will benefit differentially depending on the difficulty of the material.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Psychology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1154

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 11:00 AM Apr 30th, 1:55 PM

Variability in the Benefits of Retrieval Practice: An Individual Differences Approach

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Retrieval practice has a greater benefit on final testing compared to restudying or rereading material (Roediger et al., 2011). This is known as the Testing Effect. The Testing Effect is very robust and has been observed in middle-school children, college students, and older adults. It occurs for paired associates, prose passages, visual materials, and foreign language vocabulary. However, there is limited work examining individual differences in the effectiveness of retrieval practice in terms of cognitive ability (Dunlosky et al., 2013). Here, we examined whether individual differences in ability and the difficulty of the to-be-learned material moderated the testing effect. Two hundred participants studied Swahili-English words pairs that varied in difficulty from easy to hard and the either restudied the pairs three more times or took three cued recall tests with feedback. A final test was administered after two days. We measured performance in a number of cognitive and behavioral domains (e.g., working memory, reasoning, GRIT, need for cognition, study habits). During the encoding phase, the proportion recalled correctly increased as testing blocks increased. Overall, the testing effect was replicated, although considerable variability was present. We found no evidence for any effects of individual differences in WMC or personality on the magnitude of the testing effect. However, when comparing low v. high fluid intelligence (gF) individuals, we found an interaction between group and pair difficulty: Low gF individuals showing a greater effect of testing for easier, but not difficult items, whereas the opposite was true for individuals high in gF. This suggests that students at different levels of ability will benefit differentially depending on the difficulty of the material.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/48