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Postman, L., & Hasher, L. (1972). Conditions of proactive inhibition in free recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 92, 276-284.


Proactive inhibition (PI) was investigated under conditions of multiple-trial free recall. Control Ss learned one 20-item list, while experimental Ss learned two. Retention was tested either 15 min. or 48 hr. after acquisition. The recall procedure varied for the experimental conditions: Ss were instructed to recall the second list only (Single List), to recall the second list with the knowledge that a first-list recall would follow (Successive), or to recall both lists (MMFR). PI was present at the two retention intervals. The amount of PI varied among the experimental conditions with the Single-List condition showing superior second-list recall. Output interference at the time of recall appeared to determine the magnitude of PI.

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