The Effect of Test Trials on the Learning of Paired Adjectives

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Report Number: AMRL TR 64-105
Author(s): Johnson, Kirk A.
Laboratory: Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1964-10
Pages: 23
Contract: AF 33(657)-10234
DoD Project: 1710
DoD Task: 171007
Identifier: AD0609317

Three experiments were conducted to determine the extent to which blocks of test trials contribute to the learning of paired adjectives. The results were compared to those found in an earlier study of the relative effectiveness of various modes of the Subject Matter Trainer. The earlier study indicated that learning by means of the Quiz Mode, under conditions in which blocks of trials in the Quiz Mode were alternated with blocks of test trials, was considerably superior to learning by means of several other modes, none of which involved test trials. In the present experiments, it was found that the addition of blocks of test trials to blocks of learning trials led to improvements in learning. This was true whether learning was by means of prompting or anticipation trials. The improvements were comparable in magnitude to the trial-by-trial differences found between the Quiz Mode and two of the remaining modes used in the previous study. Apparently, much of the trial by trial advantage of the Quiz Mode in the earlier study was due to the use of test trials interspersed between learning trials. Other evidence, however, indicates that when subjects are allowed to pace themselves, the Quiz Mode will lead to a considerably greater amount of learning in a given time than any of the other modes of the Subject Matter Trainer.

Provenance: RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine

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