In this study, the authors examined the influence of prior knowledge activation on information processing by means of a prior knowledge activation procedure adopted from the read–generate paradigm. On the basis of cue-target pairs, participants in the experimental groups generated two different sets of items before studying a relevant list. Subsequently, participants were informed that they had to study the items in the list and that they should try to remember as many items as possible. The authors assessed the processing time allocated to the items in the list and free recall of those items. The results revealed that the experimental groups spent less time on items that had already been activated. In addition, the experimental groups outperformed the control group in overall free recall and in free recall of the activated items. Between-group comparisons did not demonstrate significant effects with respect to the processing time and free recall of nonactivated items. The authors interpreted these results in terms of the discrepancy reduction model of regulating the amount of processing time allocated to different parts of the list.

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Keywords discrepancy reduction model, free recall, metacognitive processes, prior knowledge activation
Persistent URL
Journal The Journal of Psychology: interdisciplinary and applied
Verkoeijen, P.P.J.L, Rikers, R.M.J.P, & Schmidt, H.G. (2005). The Effects of Prior Knowledge Activation on Study Time Allocation and Free Recall: Investigating the Discrepancy Reduction Model. The Journal of Psychology: interdisciplinary and applied. Retrieved from