Direct retrieval from elaborated memory traces

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9 Scopus citations


Four experiments were performed to investigate the beneficial effects of elaborative processing on recall performance. Specifically, the experiments investigated J. R. Anderson's (1983) claim that increasing the number of associative pathways between propositions in a memory trace improves recall performance through direct retrieval. In this study, procedures were used that allowed the amount of elaboration to be systematically varied while the use of inferential reconstruction to aid recall was eliminated, thus providing a test of J. R. Anderson's model. Across all experiments, the results showed that recall of a name was better when it had been stored in a less elaborated memory trace. The results suggest that when reconstructive processes are eliminated, elaboration decreases rather than increases recall performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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