Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

January 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Henry Roediger, III


Within the literature on transfer of learning, relatively few studies have investigated how the conditions of initial learning can be arranged to increase the likelihood of successful transfer. The present research investigated whether test-enhanced learning can be used to promote transfer. More specifically, four experiments examined how repeated testing and repeated studying affected retention and transfer of facts and concepts. Subjects studied prose passages and then either repeatedly re-studied or took tests on the material. One week later, they took a final test that either had the same questions: Experiment 1), new inferential questions within the same knowledge domain: Experiments 2 and 3), or new inferential questions from different knowledge domains: Experiment 4). Repeated testing produced superior retention and transfer on the final test relative to repeated studying. This finding indicates that the mnemonic benefits of test-enhanced learning are not limited to the retention of a specific response, but rather extend to the retrieval of knowledge in a variety of contexts.


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