Spacing repetitions over 1 week

Arthur M. Glenberg, Thomas S. Lehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Does varying the spacing of repetitions over intervals as long as 1 week aftect recall? The answer from three experiments is yes. Subjects incidentally processed words repeated within a single list and words repeated in separate lists at list spacings of up to 1 week. Memory was tested by free recall shortly after the second presentations or after retention intervals of up to 1 week. Recall of the words repeated across separate lists conformed to a proportionality rule. When the retention interval is short relative to the spacing intervals, performance is inversely related to spacing. When the retention interval is a large proportion of the spacing intervals, performance is directly related to spacing. Does varying the spacing of repetitions within a single list affect recall after a retention interval of 2 weeks? The answer depends on the processing used while studying the words. Processing that generated interitem associations resulted in a within-list spacing effect even after a 2-week retention interval. Without the interitem associations, the effect was absent after a 1-day retention interval. Most of these findings were explained by examining the changing relationship between the retrieval context and the context stored during study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-538
Number of pages11
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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