The generation effect is the greater memorability of a response that is actively produced (e.g., in answering a question from memory) than one that is more passively produced (as in reading the answer). The present three experiments addressed a question that is critical to the theoretical interpretation of the generation effect: Is memory enhanced for the cues that are used to elicit generated responses? Using incidental learning procedures, Experiments 1 and 2 gave an affirmative answer (although the effect was substantially weaker than the generation effect for responses). Enhancement of memory for generation cues was observed both in a within-subject/within-list design (reading and generation items within the same trial blocks; Experiment 1) and in a between-subjects design (reading and generation tasks for different groups of subjects; Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, memory enhancement for generation cues was used to produce a previously unobtained result-a generation effect for nonsense responses under incidental learning conditions. These findings provide critical evidence required by theories that interpret the generation effect in terms of enhanced processing of the cue-response item.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Memory and Cognition|
|State||Published - Nov 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)