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Maki, R. H., & Hasher, L. (1975). Encoding variability: A role in immediate and long term memory? American Journal of Psychology, 88, 217-231.


Two experiments tested the effect of variable encoding on recall. In the first, critical items occupied the same or different contexts, and presumably memory chucks, across successive study trails. There was no advantage either early or later in learning for items occurring in two contexts. In the second experiment, a list of homographs was learned and retention was tested one week later. During acquisition, independent groups of subjects were provided with none, one, or two meanings for each homograph. There was no advantage, either during acquisition or at retention, for lists having two versus one encoding per words.

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