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Learning from failure: Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations

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Learning from failure : Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations. / Seabrooke, Tina; Hollins, Timothy; Kent, Chris; Wills, Andy; Mitchell, Chris.

In: Journal of Memory and Language, Vol. 104, 01.02.2019, p. 70-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Seabrooke, T, Hollins, T, Kent, C, Wills, A & Mitchell, C 2019, 'Learning from failure: Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations', Journal of Memory and Language, vol. 104, pp. 70-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2018.10.001

APA

Seabrooke, T., Hollins, T., Kent, C., Wills, A., & Mitchell, C. (2019). Learning from failure: Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations. Journal of Memory and Language, 104, 70-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2018.10.001

Vancouver

Seabrooke T, Hollins T, Kent C, Wills A, Mitchell C. Learning from failure: Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations. Journal of Memory and Language. 2019 Feb 1;104:70-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2018.10.001

Author

Seabrooke, Tina ; Hollins, Timothy ; Kent, Chris ; Wills, Andy ; Mitchell, Chris. / Learning from failure : Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations. In: Journal of Memory and Language. 2019 ; Vol. 104. pp. 70-82.

Bibtex

@article{3c2834d880a546c8abc6c1711ceacec6,
title = "Learning from failure: Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations",
abstract = "Potts and Shanks (2014) recently reported that making mistakes improved the encoding of novel information compared with simply studying. This benefit of generating errors is counterintuitive, since it resulted in less study time and more opportunity for proactive interference. Five experiments examined the effect of generating errors versus studying on item recognition, cued recall, associative recognition, two-alternative forced choice and multiple-choice performance. Following Potts and Shanks (2014), participants first attempted to learn the English definitions of either very rare English words or Euskara nouns. During encoding, participants either guessed the definition (and almost always made an error) before the correct definition was revealed, or simply studied the words for an equivalent period. Experiments 1–4 used rare English words. In these experiments, generating errors led to better subsequent recognition of both the cues and targets compared with studying (Experiments 1 and 3). Tests of cued recall and associative recognition, by contrast, revealed no significant benefit of generating errors over studying (Experiments 1–3). Generating errors during encoding also improved performance on a two-alternative forced choice test when the correct target was presented with a novel foil, but not when the familiarity of the target and the foil was matched (Experiment 4). In Experiment 5, a different set of materials – Euskara nouns – and a different (intermixed) encoding procedure was adopted. Here, guessing improved target recognition (performance was improved on a multiple-choice test with unfamiliar foils), but impaired cued recall performance. These results suggest that, when learning word pairs that do not have a pre-existing semantic association, generating errors strengthens the cues and targets in isolation, but does not strengthen the cue-target associations.",
keywords = "Education, Errors, Learning, Memory, Testing",
author = "Tina Seabrooke and Timothy Hollins and Chris Kent and Andy Wills and Chris Mitchell",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jml.2018.10.001",
language = "English",
volume = "104",
pages = "70--82",
journal = "Journal of Memory and Language",
issn = "0749-596X",
publisher = "Academic Press",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Learning from failure

T2 - Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations

AU - Seabrooke, Tina

AU - Hollins, Timothy

AU - Kent, Chris

AU - Wills, Andy

AU - Mitchell, Chris

PY - 2019/2/1

Y1 - 2019/2/1

N2 - Potts and Shanks (2014) recently reported that making mistakes improved the encoding of novel information compared with simply studying. This benefit of generating errors is counterintuitive, since it resulted in less study time and more opportunity for proactive interference. Five experiments examined the effect of generating errors versus studying on item recognition, cued recall, associative recognition, two-alternative forced choice and multiple-choice performance. Following Potts and Shanks (2014), participants first attempted to learn the English definitions of either very rare English words or Euskara nouns. During encoding, participants either guessed the definition (and almost always made an error) before the correct definition was revealed, or simply studied the words for an equivalent period. Experiments 1–4 used rare English words. In these experiments, generating errors led to better subsequent recognition of both the cues and targets compared with studying (Experiments 1 and 3). Tests of cued recall and associative recognition, by contrast, revealed no significant benefit of generating errors over studying (Experiments 1–3). Generating errors during encoding also improved performance on a two-alternative forced choice test when the correct target was presented with a novel foil, but not when the familiarity of the target and the foil was matched (Experiment 4). In Experiment 5, a different set of materials – Euskara nouns – and a different (intermixed) encoding procedure was adopted. Here, guessing improved target recognition (performance was improved on a multiple-choice test with unfamiliar foils), but impaired cued recall performance. These results suggest that, when learning word pairs that do not have a pre-existing semantic association, generating errors strengthens the cues and targets in isolation, but does not strengthen the cue-target associations.

AB - Potts and Shanks (2014) recently reported that making mistakes improved the encoding of novel information compared with simply studying. This benefit of generating errors is counterintuitive, since it resulted in less study time and more opportunity for proactive interference. Five experiments examined the effect of generating errors versus studying on item recognition, cued recall, associative recognition, two-alternative forced choice and multiple-choice performance. Following Potts and Shanks (2014), participants first attempted to learn the English definitions of either very rare English words or Euskara nouns. During encoding, participants either guessed the definition (and almost always made an error) before the correct definition was revealed, or simply studied the words for an equivalent period. Experiments 1–4 used rare English words. In these experiments, generating errors led to better subsequent recognition of both the cues and targets compared with studying (Experiments 1 and 3). Tests of cued recall and associative recognition, by contrast, revealed no significant benefit of generating errors over studying (Experiments 1–3). Generating errors during encoding also improved performance on a two-alternative forced choice test when the correct target was presented with a novel foil, but not when the familiarity of the target and the foil was matched (Experiment 4). In Experiment 5, a different set of materials – Euskara nouns – and a different (intermixed) encoding procedure was adopted. Here, guessing improved target recognition (performance was improved on a multiple-choice test with unfamiliar foils), but impaired cued recall performance. These results suggest that, when learning word pairs that do not have a pre-existing semantic association, generating errors strengthens the cues and targets in isolation, but does not strengthen the cue-target associations.

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KW - Errors

KW - Learning

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KW - Testing

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U2 - 10.1016/j.jml.2018.10.001

DO - 10.1016/j.jml.2018.10.001

M3 - Article

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SP - 70

EP - 82

JO - Journal of Memory and Language

JF - Journal of Memory and Language

SN - 0749-596X

ER -