Gone but not forgotten: The transient nature of retrieval-induced forgetting

Malcolm David MacLeod, CN Macrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has demonstrated that the act of remembering can prompt temporary forgetting or, more specifically, the inhibition of particular items in memory. Extending work of this kind, the present research investigated some possible boundary conditions of retrieval-induced forgetting. As expected, a critical determinant of temporary forgetting was the interval between guided retrieval practice and a final recall test. When these two phases were separated by 24 hr, retrieval-induced forgetting failed to emerge. When they occurred in the same testing session, however, retrieval practice prompted the inhibition of related items in memory (i.e., Experiment 1). A delay of 24 hr between the encoding of material and guided retrieval practice reduced but did not eliminate retrieval-induced forgetting (i.e., Experiment 2). These findings are considered in the wider context of adaptive forgetting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001




Dive into the research topics of 'Gone but not forgotten: The transient nature of retrieval-induced forgetting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this