S. M. Smith and D. R. Tindell (1997) reported that prior study of words that are orthographically similar to the solutions of test word fragments (e.g., studying ANALOGY and completing the fragment A_L_ _GY, whose solution is ALLERGY) reduced the fragment completion rate relative to a baseline condition in which unrelated words were studied. They called this effect the memory-block effect. In the present experiment, the authors replicated this effect using a larger set of materials than that used by S. M. Smith and D. R. Tindell. The authors also found that dividing attention at study eliminated the memory-block effect. This pattern mimicked the effect of dividing attention on recognition memory but differed from the effect on repetition priming effects. The authors suggest that the memory-block effect is driven by a mechanism different from that responsible for producing repetition priming effects in an implicit fragment completion test.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - May 2001|