The forward effects of testing on eyewitness memory: The tension between suggestibility and learning
Publication date: August 2017 Source:Journal of Memory and Language, Volume 95 Author(s): Leamarie T. Gordon, Ayanna K. Thomas Research has consistently demonstrated that taking a test prior to receiving misleading information can increase misinformation susceptibility (Chan, Thomas, & Bulevich, 2009). However, research has also demonstrated that testing enhances subsequent learning (e.g., Tulving & Watkins, 1974; Wissman, Rawson, & Pyc, 2011). The goal of the present study was to examine these seemingly contradictory effects of testing. In two experiments we tested the hypothesis that testing influences how post-test information is processed. Depending on the nature of the later memory test, test-related processing can result in either memory errors or enhanced learning effects. Experiment 1 indicated that testing may result in elaborative processing of post-test material, resulting an increase in misinformation suggestibility. Experiment 2 suggested that increased suggestibility after testing may be understood as test-related learning of post-test material. Taken together, the results suggest that interim testing occurring between an original event and post-event misinformation may enhance memory suggestibility, because testing results in elaborative processing of subsequent material. However, interim testing also helps segregate memory for each source, resulting in test-potentiated learning within the misinformation paradigm.