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The Effect of Retroactive Interference on Anatomical Learning using a Virtual Learning Environment

Dieperink, Bartjan (2006) The Effect of Retroactive Interference on Anatomical Learning using a Virtual Learning Environment.

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Abstract:The aim of the present study was to test whether retroactive interference (RI) effects might occur in anatomical learning using a virtual learning environment, in order to give recommendations for adapting such an environment to the needs and capacities of its users to minimize possible negative RI effects. RI refers to situations in which subsequent learning negatively affects the recall of earlier learned material. Participants studied the human abdomen in a virtual study phase after which they were tested on this knowledge. Then, three groups were formed with similar visuospatial ability and each group was assigned to a different experimental condition. The first condition included studying the human eye. The second condition involved studying an imaginary three-dimensional figure, the Sphere. The third, control, group did not study additional material but watched a short movie instead. At the end of the experiment, all participants were again tested on their knowledge of the human abdomen. It appeared that relative to the first test accuracy of the Sphere group improved, and accuracy in the Eye and Control groups reduced. These results are in line with RI in that anatomical knowledge of the human eye reduced abdominal knowledge in the Eye group more than in the Sphere group, and that performance of the Control group reduced because they were less skilled than both other groups in test-specific skills. Visuospatial ability (VSA) did not significantly affect RI.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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