Effects of directions to remember or to forget on the short-term recognition memory of simultaneously presented words
An initial study suggested that directions to forget actually resulted in better remembering in a short-term word-recognition memory task. Four follow-up studies showed no statistically significant evidence that directions to forget caused either increased remembering or forgetting. The evidence supporting the enhancement effects of directions to remember a single word in a 5-word array (arranged as the 5 dots on a die) is strong, and the resulting increase of memory for the target items does not seem attributable to simple encoding or rehearsal processes. The evidence is also clear that both directions to remember and forget results in a smaller percentage recognition of the 60 words presented in the entire study, i.e., 12 arrays of 5 words. It is argued that earlier research, which yielded evidence for the efficacy of directions to forget, is flawed in that a "no-instruction" control was not included in the experimental design.
Cimbalo, Richard S.; Measer, Kathleen M.; and Ferriter, Kimberly A., "Effects of directions to remember or to forget on the short-term recognition memory of simultaneously presented words" (2003). Articles & Book Chapters. 388.