Directed forgetting of a single item

Lawrence R. Gottlob, Jonathan M. Golding, William J. Hauselt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In two experiments, we investigated directed forgetting of a single item. We presented participants with two phone numbers to remember and instructed half of the participants to forget the first phone number. The first number was either learned on a single trial (Experiment 1) or on three trials (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, there was evidence of directed forgetting as a result of differential encoding; the forget instruction affected recall and recognition for both phone numbers. In Experiment 2, the evidence favored differential rehearsal because the forget instruction affected recall but not recognition. These results indicate that instructions to forget can affect memory of single items.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Directed forgetting
  • Forgetting
  • Intentional forgetting
  • Memory
  • Recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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