On recollections lost: When practice makes imperfect


Macrae CN & MacLeod M (1999) On recollections lost: When practice makes imperfect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77 (3), pp. 463-473.

Recent research has demonstrated that the act of remembering can prompt forgetting or, more specifically, the inhibition of specific items in memory (M. C. Anderson & B. A. Spellman, 1995). This line of inquiry was extended through an investigation of the process and consequences of retrieval-induced forgetting in social cognition. Across 3 studies, the findings clarify several unresolved issues in the psychology of forgetting. First, it was demonstrated that retrieval-induced forgetting extends to issues in social cognition (Experiment 1). Second, forgetting can be elicited even in task contexts in which perceivers are highly motivated to remember the presented material (Experiment 2). Third, forgetting is not moderated by the amount of retrieval practice that perceivers experience (Experiment 3). These findings are considered in the context of recent treatments of cognitive inhibition and goal-directed forgetting.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Volume 77, Issue 3

Publication date30/09/1999
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association