Mnemonics, testing, and creativity : creative thinking and effectiveness of learning method

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Northern Kentucky University
Much research has been done on various techniques for increasing learning, and both testing and mnemonics such as the keyword method have been proven effective. We addressed whether people high and low in creativity benefit more or less from test practice as compared to a mnemonic strategy. We had participants study twenty Lithuanian-English word pairs. Then participants either restudied the words, received test practice by being given the cue and attempting to recall the target, generated a mnemonic linking the cue to the target, or received no extra practice with the words. After a final test over all twenty words, participants completed Remote Association Triad (RAT) problems (Bowden and Jung-Beeman, 2003) which required participants to find the relationship between three words (e.g., “Cold” is related to “Sore, Shoulder, Sweat”), and yields an index of creativity. Our hypothesis that the effectiveness of different study methods would differ across groups failed to achieve significance, and, surprisingly, so did the expected testing effect. One interesting finding did emerge: higher creativity, as measured by RAT performance, benefited participants regardless of the method employed in studying.
Learning ability, Mnemonics, Learning, Psychology of