Amlund et al - Repetitive Reading and Recall of Expository Text

Amlund et al - Repetitive Reading and Recall of Expository Text

Amlund, J. T., Kardash, C. A. M., & Kulhavy, R. W. (1986). Repetitive Reading and Recall of Expository Text. Reading Research Quarterly, 21(1), 49.

This paper examines how multiple readings affect free and cued recall of an expository text.

60 grad students read a 669 word expository passage describing the Brooklyn Bridge’s construction. 20 of them then re-read the passage once. Another 20 re-read it twice. Then all students were asked to remember as much as they could (free recall). Following that, they were given 32 cues with clozes to complete (cued recall). After that first test, they were asked to reread the passage once, then they were retested (immediate retest). Then, a week later, all students completed the same free and cued recall tasks again (delayed retest). They weren’t told there would be another session.

Two and three readings performed better than one reading on all tests. Two readings actually performed better than three on some analyses, though three-rereading students remembered more fine details. Errors which had been corrected on the immediate retest often reappeared on the delayed retest.

Free recall scores were around 30% for the two- and three-rereading conditions, with small variations according to testing time. Cued recalls were more in the 60-70% range. Free recall scores dropped about 10pp at the delayed retest; cued recall dropped more like 5pp.

The implication here is that rereading material once improves memory slightly, but further rereadings probably aren’t profitable.

Last updated 2023-07-13.