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Suppression-Induced Forgetting on a Free-Association Test
  • Paula T Hertel, Trinity University
  • Daniel Large, Trinity University
  • Ellen Stuck, Trinity University
  • Allison Levy, Trinity University
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The repeated suppression of thoughts in response to cues for their expression leads to forgetting on a subsequent test of cued recall (Anderson & Green, 2001). We extended this effect by using homograph cues and presenting them for free association following suppression practice. Cue-target pairs were first learned under integrating imagery instructions; then in the think/no-think phase students practiced suppressing thoughts connected to some homograph cues, with or without the assistance of thought substitutes that changed their meaning. Below-baseline forgetting on the subsequent free-association test was found in the production of suppressed targets. Following aided suppression, this effect was also obtained in the production of other responses denoting the target-related meaning of the homograph cues. Discussion emphasizes the ecological value of the test; rarely do people deliberately attempt recall of unwanted thoughts.

Taylor & Francis
Citation Information
Hertel, P.T., Large, D., Stück, E.D., & Levy, A. (2012). Suppression-induced forgetting on a free-association test. Memory, 20(2), 100-109. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2011.647036