Theoretical Implications of Proactive Interference in Short-Term Memory
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR HUMAN PERFORMANCE CENTER
Pagination or Media Count:
The primary goal of the study was to determine the extent to which confusions among traces are responsible for forgetting, most especially, for forgetting attributable to proactive interference. The experiment used a modification of the Brown-Peterson technique. The major alteration was to replace the recall test with a two-alternative forced choice recognition test. One of the recognition alternatives the target was one of the elements of the to-be-remembered-item TBRI and the other the foil was an element from some prior TBRI or it was a word not previously presented in the experiment. The major experimental manipulations were the recency of the foils and the length of the retention interval. Recognition accuracy was found to decrease as the recency of the foil increased and as the retention interval was lengthened. It is argued that this observation is sufficient to make implausible any model not assuming confusion among traces. A reasonably successful attempt was made to formulate a quantitative structure to handle these data.