Comparison versus reminding

Jonathan G. Tullis, Robert L. Goldstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Comparison and reminding have both been shown to support learning and transfer. Comparison is thought to support transfer because it allows learners to disregard non-matching features of superficially different episodes in order to abstract the essential structure of concepts. Remindings promote memory for the individual episodes and generalization because they prompt learners to retrieve earlier episodes during the encoding of later related episodes and to compare across episodes. Across three experiments, we compared the consequences of comparison and reminding on memory and transfer. Participants studied a sequence of related, but superficially different, proverb pairs. In the comparison condition, participants saw proverb pairs presented together and compared their meaning. In the reminding condition, participants viewed proverbs one at a time and retrieved any prior studied proverb that shared the same deep meaning as the current proverb. Experiment 1 revealed that participants in the reminding condition recalled more proverbs than those in the comparison condition. Experiment 2 showed that the mnemonic benefits of reminding persisted over a one-week retention interval. Finally, in Experiment 3, we examined the ability of participants to generalize their remembered information to new items in a task that required participants to identify unstudied proverbs that shared the same meaning as studied proverbs. Comparison led to worse discrimination between proverbs related to studied proverbs and proverbs unrelated to studied proverbs than reminding. Reminding supported better memory for individual instances and transfer to new situations than comparison.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
JournalCognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016

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Keywords

  • False Alarm
  • Practice Retrieval
  • Recognition Test
  • Related Pair
  • Study List

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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