The effects of free recall testing on subsequent source memory

Gene A. Brewer, Richard L. Marsh, Joseph T. Meeks, Arlo Clark-Foos, Jason L. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The testing effect is the finding that prior retrieval of information from memory will result in better subsequent memory for that material. One explanation for these effects is that initial free recall testing increases the recollective details for tested information, which then becomes more available during a subsequent test phase. In three experiments we explored this hypothesis using a source-monitoring test phase after the initial free recall tests. We discovered that memory is differentially enhanced for certain recollective details depending on the nature of the free recall task. Thus further research needs to be conducted to specify how different kinds of memorial details are enhanced by free recall testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Episodic memory
  • Testing effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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