The efficacy of self-paced study in multitrial learning

Mario De Jonge, Huib K. Tabbers, Diane Pecher, Yoonhee Jang, René Zeelenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2 experiments we investigated the efficacy of self-paced study in multitrial learning. In Experiment 1, native speakers of English studied lists of Dutch-English word pairs under 1 of 4 imposed fixed presentation rate conditions (24 × 1 s, 12 × 2 s, 6 × 4 s, or 3 × 8 s) and a self-paced study condition. Total study time per list was equated for all conditions. We found that self-paced study resulted in better recall performance than did most of the fixed presentation rates, with the exception of the 12 × 2 s condition, which did not differ from the self-paced condition. Additional correlational analyses suggested that the allocation of more study time to difficult pairs than to easy pairs might be a beneficial strategy for self-paced learning. Experiment 2 was designed to test this hypothesis. In 1 condition, participants studied word pairs in a self-paced fashion without any restrictions. In the other condition, participants studied word pairs in a self-paced fashion but total study time per item was equated. The results showed that allowing self-paced learners to freely allocate study time over items resulted in better recall performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-858
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • Metacognitive control
  • Multitrial learning
  • Self-pacing
  • Study time allocation

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