2006-07 Erlbaum Winners' Abstracts
The Effect of Type and Timing of Feedback on Learning From Multiple-Choice Tests
Andrew C. Butler, Washington Univ in Saint Louis (MO)
Faculty Sponsor: Henry L. Roediger, III, PhD
The present experiment investigated how the type and timing of feedback influence learning from a multiplechoice test, variables that have often been confounded in prior research. Students read prose passages and then took an initial six-alternative multiplechoice test. Feedback was given immediately for some of the multiplechoice items or one day later for other items. Participants were either shown the correct answer as feedback (standard feedback) or allowed to keep answering until the correct answer was discovered (answer-until-correct feedback). Learning from the test was assessed one week later on a cued recall test. The results indicated that delayed feedback led to superior final test performance relative to immediate feedback. However, type of feedback did not matter: discovering the correct answer through answeruntil- correct feedback produced equivalent performance relative to standard feedback. This research suggests that delaying the presentation of feedback after a test is beneficial to learning.
The Effects of GAD With Comorbid Dysthymia on Cognitive Performance in a Group of Older Adults
Khushbu Shah, Rutgers University Newark (NJ)
Faculty Sponsor: Jan Mohlman, PhD
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) often have a comorbid diagnosis of dysthymia. Although current literature does not provide evidence of executive skills impairment in GAD patients, studies revealed that patients with major depression show executive cognitive impairment (ECI). Therefore, we hypothesized that individuals with GAD and comorbid dysthymia would show ECI. Participants were older adults who were assigned to three groups: control, GAD, or GAD with dysthymia. Participants completed cognitive tests and questionnaires measuring depression and anxiety. Surprisingly, results indicated that GAD with comorbid dysthymia was not associated with ECI. These results suggest that having dysthymia as a secondary diagnosis does not necessarily lead to ECI; however, severity of dysthymia may be negatively related to ECI.