Forgetting as a consequence of retrieval suppression: a meta-analytic review of the think/no-think paradigm

Clark, Chris (2021) Forgetting as a consequence of retrieval suppression: a meta-analytic review of the think/no-think paradigm. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (2MB)


The present thesis used meta-analytic methods to define the typical magnitude of the suppression induced forgetting (SIF) effect produced by the Think/No-Think paradigm as well as assess several moderators. A literature search was conducted using seven online databases, review papers and discussion with experts in the field to identify 82 relevant studies. Using Bayesian multi-level modelling techniques to provide a synthesis of the existing literature it was determined that the typical Think/No-Think study produced a small SIF effect. This means that the Think/No-Think paradigm decreases recall accuracy for no-think items relative to baseline items, with broad heterogeneity in the observed effect across studies depending on the methods. Additionally, it was determined that the SIF effect was larger (a) in studies using same probe (SP) tests than independent probe (IP) tests; (b) when the data were conditionalized on successful learning of the stimuli pairs during the test-feedback phase; (c) when participants were given more specific instructions on how to avoid thinking of the no-think items, and; (d) at higher numbers of repetitions (for unconditionalized data). Neither stimulus emotional content nor stimuli type impacted the magnitude of SIF. These findings provide strong evidence of the viability of the SIF effect while also informing future theoretical discussions concerning its mechanisms. Several recommendations are made for future Think/No-Think studies concerning sample size and methodological decisions in an effort to improve the precision and reliability of findings.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15124
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 87-114).
Keywords: Cognition, Memory, Psychology, Forgetting
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: August 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Recollection (Psychology)--Simulation methods; Psychology--Experiments.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics