List-method directed forgetting observed after short recall intervals generalizes to long retention intervals

Takeaway

  • List-method directed forgetting is absent in item recognition and depends on the presence of list-2 encoding.

Why this matters

    List-method directed forgetting is a technique by which people are cued to intentionally forget an already studied list before encoding a second list to forget the first-list items. Most of the research on this method has been focused on short retention intervals; this novel study focused on directed forgetting after prolonged delays. The observation that voluntary forgetting of information continues after a prolonged retention interval furthers our understanding of this important faculty which enables us to free mental capacity or forget traumatic experiences.