Proactive interference, accessibility bias, and process dissociations: Valid subject reports of memory.
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Proactive interference was assessed with a variant of the process-dissociation procedure, which separates effects of habit (accessibility bias) and recollection (discriminability). In three cued-recall experiments, proactive interference was shown to be an effect of bias rather than an effect on actual remembering. Divided attention, age, and study duration selectively influenced the recollection parameter, whereas training probability selectively influenced the habit parameter. Furthermore, in Experiments 2 and 3, subjective reports of remembering were highly correlated with, and nearly identical to, objective estimates of recollection gained from the process-dissociation procedure. The authors discuss the relevance of the results to theories of proactive interference and argue that older adults' greater susceptibility to interference effects is sometimes caused by an inability to recollect rather than by an inability to inhibit a preponderant response.
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