Using day and night – scheduling retrieval practice and sleep

Kroneisen, M. and Kuepper-Tetzel, C. E. (2021) Using day and night – scheduling retrieval practice and sleep. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 20(1), pp. 40-57. (doi: 10.1177/1475725720965363)

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Sleep right after studying new material is more conducive to memory than a period of wakefulness. Another way to counteract forgetting is to practice retrieval: taking a test strengthens memory more effectively than restudying the material. The current work aims at investigating the interaction between sleep and testing by asking if testing adds to, neutralizes, or decreases the effect of sleep on memory? We tested this in one pilot and one experiment by manipulating the timing of the practice test as well as whether practice was followed by sleep or wakefulness when learning foreign language vocabulary. Taking a delayed practice test significantly reduces forgetting for both the sleep and the wakefulness group. An immediate practice test, in contrast, had no such effect; here we find the standard beneficial sleep effect. However, the immediate practice test leads to higher recall in the final test in comparison to a delayed practice test, but only for the sleep group. Practical recommendations imply two things: first, if students study in the evening, they should test themselves immediately after learning. Second, if students study during the day the practice test should be delayed in order to reinforce memory and reduce forgetting of the material.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The second author discloses receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kuepper-Tetzel, Dr Carolina
Authors: Kroneisen, M., and Kuepper-Tetzel, C. E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Psychology Learning and Teaching
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1475-7257
Published Online:14 October 2020

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