Experiment 1 paper

Experiment 1 paper - Running Head: HETEROGENEITY IN THE...

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Running Head: HETEROGENEITY IN THE TESTING EFFECT Heterogeneity in the Testing Effect between Mathematical and Verbal Subject Material Valerie Udeozor University of Pittsburgh Abstract A phenomenon labeled as the “testing effect” describes the occurrence in which people generally perform better on a final assessment when previously tested on the material, as opposed to repeatedly studying it (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006). This experiment provided further investigation of this research topic, as it analyzed whether there is dissimilarity in the testing effect between different subjects of study material, i.e. English/verbal and mathematics. Thirty participants were presented with two sets of instructions, one on how to dispose latex paint and the other on how to do permutations. Fifteen participants repeatedly studied this information while the other fifteen were given an initial test on both sets of instructions. All of the
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participants took a final test 2 days later. Results showed that, not only was there a testing effect, but there was also a statistically significant difference in the testing effect between verbal and mathematical material. This indicates that the mental processes used for long-term retention of verbal content and mathematical content bear varying impacts on the testing effect. Heterogeneity in the Testing Effect Between Mathematical and Verbal Subject Material Supported by an abundance of research, a phenomenon referred to as the “testing effect” has been reported to facilitate long-term retention more than repeated study of given material (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006). These research experiments commonly use either verbal or mathematical material to assess the testing effect among their participants. However, little to no research has compared the difference in the magnitude of the testing effect between these two types of subject materials. Evaluating this difference in the testing effect, or lack thereof, would extend scientific knowledge of material for which testing is most appropriately a method of retaining information. Previous studies have supported that the testing effect is a legitimate means of retaining information in one’s long term memory. For instance, using the Brown-Peterson task, Kuo and Hirshman (1996) affirmed that the testing effect directly occurs separately from the mediated effect of testing providing overexposure to testing materials. Kuo and Hirshman set up multiple conditions that evaluated various combinations of restudying and initial testing to measure the
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effects of initial tests precisely. Results demonstrated that more initial testing led to higher performance by participants on final tests. Other studies, in addition to finding a significant testing effect, have been repetitiously executed with various alterations to analyze the testing effect under various conditions. An experiment conducted by Kang, McDermott, and Roediger (2007) evaluated the effects of different test formats, and concluded that the testing effect is
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Experiment 1 paper - Running Head: HETEROGENEITY IN THE...

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