In two experiments, subjects listened to a list of implicational sentences and performed either a comprehension or a memorization task. They were subsequently given a test of free recall or cued recall (with implications as cues). Performance in the comprehension/cued-recall condition was consistently better than that in the dissimilar-encoding/retrieval conditions (memorization/cued recall and comprehension/free recall), supporting the hypothesis that encoding/retrieval similarity facilitates recall. In contrast, performance in the memorization/free-recall condition was not consistently better than in the dissimilar-encoding/retrieval conditions. Thus, the advantage of encoding/retrieval similarity for recall was clear only in the case of distinctive encoding (specific comprehension responses) and distinctive retrieval cues (implications as cues). The results show the relevance of distinctiveness and encoding/retrieval compatibility for memory of meaningful material.
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