Three experiments were conducted to show that engaging in an effort to answer a question markedly influences the processing of information subsequently encountered in the environment. On each of 2 successive days, participants were given a definition test that involved the recall of rare English words cued by their definitions. A lexical-decision task was administered between the 2 definition tests; the timing of the lexical-decision task varied across experiments. A strong target-to-definition priming effect occurred such that prior exposure to words during the lexical-decision task increased their likelihood of being recalled in the final definition test. It also appears that earlier attempts to answer questions affected the acquisition of relevant new material in long-term memory. The role of these priming effects is discussed with respect to the process of updating memory representations.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition|
|State||Published - Nov 1995|