Rehearsal Strategies Can Enlarge or Diminish the Spacing Effect: Pure Versus Mixed Lists and Encoding Strategy
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Using 5 experiments, the authors explored the dependency of spacing effects on rehearsal patterns. Encouraging rehearsal borrowing produced opposing effects on mixed lists (containing both spaced and massed repetitions) and pure lists (containing only one or the other), magnifying spacing effects on mixed lists but diminishing spacing effects on pure lists. Rehearsing with borrowing produced large spacing effects on mixed lists but not on pure lists for both free recall (Experiment 1) and recognition (Experiment 2). In contrast, rehearsing only the currently visible item produced spacing effects on both mixed lists and pure lists in free recall (Experiment 3) and recognition (Experiment 4). Experiment 5 demonstrated these effects using a fully within-subjects design. Rehearse-aloud protocols showed that rehearsal borrowing redistributed study from massed to spaced items on mixed lists, especially during massed presentations.