When does generation enhance memory for location?
Generation is thought to enhance both item-specific and relational processing of generated targets as compared with read words (M. A. McDaniel & P. J. Waddill, 1990). Generation facilitates encoding of the cue-target relation and sometimes boosts encoding of relations across list items. Of interest is whether generation can also increase the encoding of target-location associations. Because the literature on this point is mixed, 3 procedural differences between 2 studies (E. J. Marsh, G. Edelman, & G. H. Bower, 2001; N. W. Mulligan, 2004) were identified and manipulated. A positive generation effect was found for location memory, but this effect was reduced when subjects wrote down the study words and when the filler task involved generation. Generation can enhance location memory in addition to item memory but only if the experimental parameters do not interfere with the processing benefits of generation.
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