Assessing students' application and transfer of a mnemonic strategy: The struggle for independence

Beverly J. Dretzke, Joel R. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


High school students participated in two experiments designed to investigate application and transfer of a mnemonic strategy. On Day 1 of Experiment 1, mnemonically instructed students outperformed nonmnemonic control students on both recall and application tests for the initial task of learning passage-embedded information about features of fictitious cities. No evidence of successful strategy transfer was obtained, however, on Day 2 passages about several U.S. presidents. In Experiment 2, mnemonically instructed students again recalled and applied more Day 1 city information than did control students. Moreover, with Day 2 transfer passages that were less complex and more similar to the Day 1 cities passages, there was qualified support for the hypothesis that mnemonic students could transfer their previously learned strategy to a set of new materials: Successful transfer was observed when the students were given an explicit hint to try to use a strategy similar to the one they had used previously (prompted transfer), but not when no such hint was provided (spontaneous transfer).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996


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