Retrieval Priming in Product Verification: Evidence From Retrieval-Induced Forgetting


  • Josh Neudorf
  • Yalin Chen
  • Jamie I. D. Campbell


The conditions under which multiplication verification (3 × 6 = 12, true or false?) involves product retrieval and comparison or familiarity-based recognition judgements has not been clearly established. In two experiments examining verification of single-digit multiplication problems, we used Retrieval-Induced Forgetting (RIF), a signature of retrieval use, as an index of product retrieval in multiplication verification. In Experiment 1, 72 adults practiced multiplication either in a production format or in a verification format and then were tested on corresponding addition and control problems. The results showed RIF (i.e., slower answer production for addition problems whose multiplication counterparts had been practiced) in both the production-practice and the verification-practice groups, but RIF was stronger following true than false verification. Experiment 2 tested verification with related-false and unrelated-false products. Related-false equations produced longer RTs than unrelated false equations. Practice of true, related-false and unrelated-false multiplication equations all produced RIF of the addition counterparts but, overall, related-false multiplication equations produced relatively weak RIF. The results indicated that product retrieval mediates multiplication verification even when false answers are weak associative lures and suggest that a retrieve-and-compare process is the default strategy when false answers are at least plausible. We conclude that the presented answer in verification equations act as retrieval-priming stimuli with true equations priming correct answer retrieval and related-false answers interfering with correct answer retrieval.