Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



There is a great deal of variability in how quickly people learn and how long they remember information. Zerr and colleagues (2018) found a robust and stable relationship between an individual’s rate of learning and the durability of their memory, with faster learners tending to retain more after a delay. The relationship between the rapidity and longevity of learning was characterized as learning efficiency. The present study extends these findings by testing whether learning efficiency generalizes across divergent verbal and visuospatial tasks. An ancillary aim was to assess learning efficiency using a continuous measure that can capture fine-grained individual differences in learning. Participants (N = 112) learned and recalled Lithuanian-English word pairs and object locations using a multi-trial cued recall paradigm. Estimates of individuals’ learning efficiency generalized across tasks, suggesting that this construct may tap into a domain-general ability. Additionally, the spatial precision of recalled object locations correlated with both the speed and durability of learning, indicating that continuous measures may also be used to evaluate the efficiency of learning.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Kathleen B. McDermott

Committee Members

David Balota, Mark McDaniel


Permanent URL: