Learning and Memory

Roediger_HenryHenry L. “Roddy” Roediger, III has spent a career studying human learning and memory, particularly processes of memory retrieval. His recent research has focused on the power of retrieval as a mechanism for improving learning and retention and in applying this work to educational settings. His research has demonstrated that students retain more material when they retrieve it via tests than from restudying it, and Roediger and his collaborators are conducting field studies to determine whether their test-enhanced learning intervention is effective under actual classroom conditions. (It is). Roediger is also interested in illusions of memory. Through his investigation of false memories, Roediger and his team have demonstrated that people can incorporate aspects of present events into their memories, leading to very vivid — but untrue — memories. Roediger has also studied how false memories can be created by remembering in groups and how older adults generally show a greater propensity to false memories. His research includes the development of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, which demonstrates that when people are given a list of words strongly related to a central (but not presented) word, there is a high probability of falsely remembering the associated word that was not presented. Roediger’s earlier research was concerned with implicit memory, or how past experience can be expressed in ongoing behavior with little or no awareness of memory processes being involved; with hypermnesia (how memories can be recovered over time without intervening study); and with how retrieval of some information can impair retrieval of other information (a process now referred to as retrieval induced forgetting). Roediger is a Past President of the Association for Psychological Science (APS). He is a recipient of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) William James Fellow Award for his lifetime of significant intellectual achievements to the basic science of psychology. See http://psych.wustl.edu/memory/ for more information.

Watch Roediger’s Award Address at the 24th APS Annual Convention.

Watch Roediger’s Bring the Family Address at the 26th APS Annual Convention in May 2014.