The Mechanisms of the Temporal Release from Proactive Interference
Lindsey, Dakota Roy Bailey
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The release from proactive interference (PI) is a well-studied phenomenon, but its cause is elusive. When a release in PI is caused by changes in the content of to-be-remembered items, the more accurate retrieval is likely a result of changes in context (Watkins & Watkins, 1975). However, changes in context do not readily explain the cause of PI release resulting from a temporal delay. Instead, it could be that during the delay subjects disengage from intrusive information from previous trials. The ability to disengage from no-longer-relevant information is related to fluid intelligence (Gf). I predicted that this ability to disengage, as defined by fluid intelligence, is the driving factor of the time-based release from PI. In order to test this prediction, I administered a free recall task to individuals of high and low Gf. The time between the last two lists was lengthened to cause release. The time manipulation did not cause a release from PI; essentially, this result represents a failure to replicate. Limitations of the study and potential methodological issues are discussed.