The repetition decrement effect in recognition memory: The influence of prime-target spacing
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Rosner, Lopez-Benitez, D'Angelo, Thomson, and Milliken (2018, see also Collins, Rosner & Milliken, 2018) reported a novel recognition memory effect. In an incidental study phase, participants saw prime-target word pairs and were asked to name aloud just the target. Primes were unmasked, but participants were not required to attend to them. On repeated trials the prime and target were the same word, whereas on not-repeated trials the prime and target were different words. In the following test phase, recognition memory was better for not-repeated targets than for repeated targets. The present study explores whether this effect is influenced by the spacing between primes and targets. The results replicated prior studies in that immediate repetition resulted in a repetition decrement effect, but spaced repetition (by about 10 min) resulted in the opposite effect - better recognition for repeated than not-repeated targets. The results are discussed in relation to deficient processing theories of the spacing effect.
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