The article I wrote for a special issue on “Cognitive Psychology in Everyday Life” of the In-Mind magazine is online. Check it out! It is in German though:
Forthcoming in Memory & Cognition:
- Küpper-Tetzel, C. E., Kapler, I. V., & Wiseheart, M. (forthcoming). Contracting, equal, and expanding learning schedules: The optimal distribution of
Laboratory and applied learning experiments have extensively investigated the optimal distribution of two learning sessions (i.e., initial learning and one relearning session) for the learning of verbatim material. However, research has not yet provided a satisfying and conclusive answer to the optimal scheduling of three learning sessions (i.e., initial learning and two relearning sessions) across educationally relevant time intervals. Should the to-be-learned material be repeated at decreasing intervals (contracting schedule), constant intervals (equal schedule), or increasing intervals (expanding schedule) between learning sessions? Different theories and memory models (e.g., study-phase retrieval theory, contextual variability theory, ACT-R, and Multiscale Context Model) make distinct predictions about the optimal learning schedule. We discuss extant theories and derive clear predictions from each of them. To test these predictions empirically, we conducted an experiment that had participants study and restudy paired associates with a contracting, equal, or expanding learning schedule.
Memory performance was assessed immediately, 1 day, 7 days, or 35 days later with free and cued recall tests. Our results reveal that the optimal learning schedule is conditional on the length of the retention interval: A contracting learning schedule was beneficial for retention intervals up to 7 days, but both equal and expanding learning schedules were better for a long retention interval of 35 days. Our findings can be accommodated best with the contextual variability theory and indicate that revisions are needed to existing memory models. Our results are practically relevant and implications for real-world learning are discussed.
Forthcoming in Zeitschrift für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology:
- Küpper-Tetzel, C. E. (forthcoming). Strong effects on weak theoretical grounds: Understanding the distributed practice effect.
The distributed practice effect is one of the most researched memory effects in cognitive psychology. Beneficial distributed practice effects for long-term retention have been demonstrated in different domains and they are remarkably large
in size, too. However, despite strong effects, this research field still lacks a unified theory offering explanations for a wide range of findings. I review empirical studies on the distributed practice effect that have immediate relevance for educational settings. Against the backdrop of this review, I discuss theory candidates and ways of specifying them for empirical tests using nonstandard statistical methods. I conclude that future studies will have to fine-tune theories to strengthen the significance of empirical results and to allow for better recommendations to educators. This promises to increase the enthusiasm to systematically implement distributed practice in instruction routines and bridge psychological research and educational practice.
Our paper on the lag effect and the important role of the retention interval for optimizing vocabulary learning in middle-school students was accepted and will be published in Instructional Science.
Check out our recently published paper in Memory!
I highly recommend this book on statistics and on how to use SPSS! You have never laughed so much and learned so much about statistics and SPSS at the same time. The previous edition of this book is also available in our university library.
Field, A. P. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS: and sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (3rd edition). London: Sage.