Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Voluntary Remembering: Elucidating the Mental Strategies Used to Recall the Past


This study investigated the possibility that people use multiple different types of voluntary retrieval strategies when they are attempting to recall past episodes. In two experiments, we used a retrieve out loud procedure where participants were required to verbalize their thoughts while attempting to retrieve personal memories in response to phrase cues. In Experiment 1, we hypothesized that three main types of voluntary retrieval strategies would be evident during the retrieve out loud procedure, repeating, temporal, and generative/hierarchical retrieval. The results confirmed our hypothesis, showing that the three strategies were used equally. In Experiment 2, we examined the retrieval speed and success rates of the three strategies. The results showed that the repeating strategy was statistically faster than the other two strategies, while also showing that the temporal strategy had the least success in generating memories.Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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