Enhancing the Generation Effect Through Repetition of Operations

Elizabeth L. Glisky, Jan C. Rabinowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The generation effect was studied in the absence of specific encoding cues. Subjects generated single words from word fragments (AL__OHO__) and then attempted to recognize them in a subsequent test. In Experiment 1, subjects either read or generated at both encoding and retrieval. A recognition advantage was found for generating at encoding, which demonstrates that the generation effect holds for single items and is not necessarily a function of an enriched relation between the generated word and its context. However, generating items at test improved performance only if the items were also generated at encoding. This generation specificity effect demonstrates that existing theories of the generation effect are incomplete and suggests a role for the repetition of generation operations in producing a memorial advantage. The precise nature of the specificity effect was examined in four subsequent experiments. It was found that the more closely the operations at retrieval matched those at encoding, the better the recognition performance. We concluded that a complete description of the generation effect must include both a general encoding factor to account for the main effect of generation at encoding and a specific processing component to account for the extra advantage obtained when similar generation operations are reinstated at test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing the Generation Effect Through Repetition of Operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this