Improving text memory by organizing interfering text at retrieval

Traci Mann, Lyle A. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We provide evidence that information that organizes interfering text after learning improves recall of original text to which the organizing information does not pertain. Subjects learned two text passages. The second passage was difficult to understand without the aid of a picture that provided the necessary clarifying context. Using the picture as an organizing cue for the second passage (just before retrieval of the first passage) improved recall of the first passage. We address and rule out an alternate explanation that is based on the difficulty of the task immediately preceding recall. These results contradict several traditional hypotheses about interference, and they are difficult to explain with several current models of memory. Implications for learning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


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