Self-generated retrievals while multitasking improve memory for names

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We used a translational research paradigm to investigate whether distributed retrievals could benefit name learning in social situations. Undergraduates (N = 64) were trained to generate distributed retrievals while they were multitasking. Students learned to generate distributed retrievals according to either an expanding or a uniform schedule. Their self-generated distributed retrievals while they were multitasking were effective in improving name recall for both retrieval schedules. The increase with self-generated retrievals while multitasking was greater (η2 = .76) than the increase that Helder and Shaughnessy (2008) found with experimenter-controlled retrievals while multitasking (η2 = .42). These findings provide evidence that the beneficial effect of distributed retrievals can extend to learning names in a social situation.