ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (10): 1738-1748.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01738

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 The cognitive mechanisms of retrieval-induced forgetting

 ZHAO Libo; ZHANG Yue; YU Yiwen; DENG Lifang   

  1.  (Department of Psychology, Bei-Hang University, Beijing 100191, China)
  • Received:2017-12-27 Online:2017-10-15 Published:2017-08-13
  • Contact: DENG Lifang, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  Retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) refers to the phenomenon that the retrieval of particular memories causes other related information to be forgotten. Since its discovery 20 years ago, RIF has been an important topic in memory research but its underlying cognitive mechanism remains controversial. There exist three major explanations including the interference account, the inhibition account, and the context- dependent account. Based on a systematic review of empirical studies on the cognitive mechanisms of RIF, it could be concluded that all three accounts have received partial support, and therefore RIF might be caused jointly by inhibition, interference, and change of context. Future research on RIF should combine multiple methodologies to address this new theory directly.

Key words:  retrieval-induced forgetting, interference, competition, inhibition, context

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