Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type



Psychological and Brain Sciences

Author's Keywords

Handedness; Proactive interference; Paired associate recall; Memory


Proactive interference is the phenomenon by which previously-learned information impairs recall of more recently-learned information. The present experiment was conducted to investigate two factors that may affect the occurrence of proactive interference. The first of these factors is saccade execution. Saccade execution has been shown in numerous studies to improve performance on a wide range of memory tasks. The second factor was people’s consistency of handedness, a term referring to the strength of people’s tendency to use one hand (right or left) over the other. Although the results of the primary analyses were inconclusive, further exploration of the data led to the proposition that saccades increase memory performance when no interference effect is induced, but may reduce performance when there is an interference effect. These results, although not significant in the expected way, still showed hints of interesting results.