Semantic-feature variability and the spacing effect

Academic Article


  • Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that the spacing effect in free recall results from greater semantic-feature variability across distributed repetitions than massed repetitions. In Experiment I, induced variation in semantic context for repeated items eliminated the spacing effect; whereas, a corresponding manipulation of formal context (Experiment II) was ineffective in reducing the standard massed- versus distributed-presentation difference. It is argued that the spacing effect is a result of fluctuations in semantic-feature encoding when item repetitions are distributed during acquisition. © 1979 Academic Press, Inc.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McFarland CE; Rhodes DD; Frey TJ
  • Start Page

  • 163
  • End Page

  • 172
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 2