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Recall, Recognition, and Interference

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    Recall, Recognition, and Interference


    A fill-in-the-blank test question is an example of recall, as you think of the answers without being probed.

    For example, The colors of the American Flag are ____, _____ and _________. You were able to fill in the answers—red, white, blue—as you could recall this information without any help.

    Recall A measure of memory where a person must remember the information.


    A multiple choice test question is an example of recognition., as you are able to view and recognize the answer.

    Recognition A measure of memory where a person recognizes something

    For example, "The United States declared independence from Britain on which day?"

    1. July 4, 1776
    2. July 4, 1677
    3. December 25, 1776
    4. December 25, 1677

    The answer is A. Most of you recognize this day as Independence Day (4th of July). Some of you were not sure of the year, but you were able to recognize the date based upon the other options.


    You are counting your large jar of change to take to the bank and exchange it for paper money. You are just about finished and your brother comes in chanting “24, 67, 135, 2,000." What happens to your count? Sadly, it gets lost and you must start over.

    You are in the mall and you meet a boy or girl in which you are interested. He or she gives you their phone number and you do not have your cell phone to store it. You listen to the number, the person walks away, and you rehearse this number over and over until you can find a pen and paper. Just as you are about to write the number, someone asks you a question. What happens to the phone number? Sadly, it is lost. Hopefully you can run fast and find this person again now that you have the pen!

    These are both examples of interference theory-the theory that we forget because new and old material interfere with one another..