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  1. We examined whether framing younger and older adults learning goals in terms of maximizing gains or minimizing losses impacts their ability to selectively remember high-value information. Specifically, we presented younger and older adults with lists of words paired with point values and participants were either told that they would receive the value associated with each word if they recalled it on a test or that they would lose the points associated with each word if they failed to recall it on the test. We also asked participants to predict the likelihood of recalling each word to deter- mine if younger and older adults were metacognitively aware of any potential framing effects. Results revealed that older adults expected to be more selective when their goals were framed in terms of losses, but younger adults expected to be more selective when their goals were framed in terms of gains. However, this was not the case as both younger and older adults were more selective for high-value informa- tion when their goals were framed in terms of maximizing gains compared with minimizing losses. Thus, the framing of learning goals can impact metacognitive decisions and subsequent memory in both younger and older adults. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 6, 2024
  2. Abstract Changing how an issue is framed can influence both decision-making and metacognition, but framing a memory task in terms of gains and losses could also impact how learners prioritize information according to its value or importance. We investigated how framing task instructions and feedback in terms of gains and losses influences learners’ ability to selectively remember valuable information at the expense of low-value information. Specifically, we presented learners with to-be-remembered words paired with point values and either told participants how many points they scored (the sum of the values of recalled words) or lost (the sum of the values of not-recalled words) on each list, with participants’ goal being to maximize their scores or minimize their losses, respectively. Overall, participants were more selective for high-value words when their goals were framed in terms of point gains compared with when their goals were framed in terms of losses, and learners’ metacognitive predictions of performance (JOLs) generally mapped onto this trend. Thus, framing in terms of losses for forgetting can reduce memory selectivity, perhaps because even small losses are salient, indicating that framing effects are not limited to decision-making but can influence memory and metacognitive processes as well. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Compared to blocked practice, interleaved practice of different tasks leads to superior long-term retention despite poorer initial acquisition performance. This phenomenon, the contextual interference effect, is well documented in various domains but it is not yet clear if it persists in the absence of explicit knowledge in terms of fine motor sequence learning. Additionally, while there is some evidence that interleaved practice leads to improved transfer of learning to similar actions, transfer of implicit motor sequence learning has not been explored. The present studies used a serial reaction time task where participants practiced three different eight-item sequences that were either interleaved or blocked on Day 1 (training) and Day 2 (testing). In Experiment 1, the retention of the three training sequences was tested on Day 2 and in Experiment 2, three novel sequences were performed on Day 2 to measure transfer. We assessed whether subjects were aware of the sequences to determine whether the benefit of interleaved practice extends to implicitly learned sequences. Even for participants who reported no awareness of the sequences, interleaving led to a benefit for both retention and transfer compared to participants who practiced blocked sequences. Those who trained with blocked sequences were left unprepared for interleaved sequences at test, while those who trained with interleaved sequences were unaffected by testing condition, revealing that learning resulting from blocked practice may be less flexible and more vulnerable to testing conditions. These results indicate that the benefit of interleaved practice extends to implicit motor sequence learning and transfer. 
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