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The Role of Forgetting Rate in Producing a Benefit of Expanded Over Equal Spaced Retrieval



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Psychology and Aging The Role of Forgetting Rate in Producing a Benefit of Expanded Over Equal Spaced Retrieval in Young and Older Adults Geoffrey B Maddox David A Balota Jennifer H Coane and Janet M Duchek Online First Publication April 4 2011 doi 10 1037 a0022942 CITATION Maddox G B Balota D A Coane J H Duchek J M 2011 April 4 The Role of Forgetting Rate in Producing a Benefit of Expanded Over Equal Spaced Retrieval in Young and Older Adults Psychology and Aging Advance online publication doi 10 1037 a0022942 Psychology and Aging 2011 Vol No 000 000 2011 American Psychological Association 0882 7974 11 12 00 DOI 10 1037 a0022942 The Role of Forgetting Rate in Producing a Benefit of Expanded Over Equal Spaced Retrieval in Young and Older Adults Geoffrey B Maddox David A Balota Jennifer H Coane and Janet M Duchek Washington University in St Louis The current study examined the effects of two manipulations on equal and expanded spaced retrieval schedules in young and older adults First we examined the role that the type of expansion systematic vs nonsystematic has in producing a benefit of expanded retrieval Second we examined the influence of an immediate retrieval attempt to minimize forgetting after the original encoding event It was predicted that including multiple retrieval attempts with minimal intervening spacing best accomplished in a nonsystematic retrieval schedule would be necessary to produce a benefit of expanded retrieval over equal spaced retrieval for older adults but not young adults due to age differences in working memory capacity Results from two experiments revealed that the presence of an expanded over equal spaced retrieval benefit is modulated by the extent to which the spacing conditions minimize forgetting in the early retrieval attempts in the spaced conditions As predicted these conditions differ substantially across young and older adults In particular in older adults two intervening items between early retrieval attempts produce dramatic



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