Karpicke, J. D., & Smith, M. A. (2012). Separate mnemonic effects of retrieval practice and elaborative encoding. Journal of Memory and Language, 67(1), 17–29

Is the Testing effect produced by Elaborative encoding? When you review prompts in a Spaced repetition memory system, you give yourself an opportunity to form new connections based on your current context and the different thoughts you have during the review session.

The authors run a series of experiments which suggest that retrieval practice produces more durable recall through methods other than elaborative encoding.

They also find relatively muted effects of elaborative encoding; in particular:

repeated elaborative encoding produced no effect relative to repeated studying under neutral, nonelaborative conditions.

Related: Karpicke, J. D., & Blunt, J. R. (2011). Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping. Science, 331(6018), 772–775

Jeffrey Karpicke

Last updated 2023-07-13.