Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The influence of training and experience on memory strategy

Patrick, John; Morgan, Phillip L.; Smy, Victoria; Tiley, Leyanne; Seeby, Helen; Patrick, Tanya; Evans, Jonathan


John Patrick

Phillip L. Morgan

Victoria Smy

Leyanne Tiley

Helen Seeby

Tanya Patrick

Jonathan Evans


© 2015, Psychonomic Society, Inc. This paper investigates whether, and if so how much, prior training and experience overwrite the influence of the constraints of the task environment on strategy deployment. This evidence is relevant to the theory of soft constraints that focuses on the role of constraints in the task environment (Gray, Simms, Fu, & Schoelles, Psychological Review, 113: 461–482, 2006). The theory explains how an increase in the cost of accessing information induces a more memory-based strategy involving more encoding and planning. Experiments 1 and 3 adopt a traditional training and transfer design using the Blocks World Task in which participants were exposed to training trials involving a 2.5-s delay in accessing goal-state information before encountering transfer trials in which there was no access delay. The effect of prior training was assessed by the degree of memory-based strategy adopted in the transfer trials. Training with an access delay had a substantial carry-over effect and increased the subsequent degree of memory-based strategy adopted in the transfer environment. However, such effects do not necessarily occur if goal-state access cost in training is less costly than in transfer trials (Experiment 2). Experiment 4 used a fine-grained intra-trial design to examine the effect of experiencing access cost on one, two, or three occasions within the same trial and found that such experience on two consecutive occasions was sufficient to induce a more memory-based strategy. This paper establishes some effects of training that are relevant to the soft constraints theory and also discusses practical implications.


Patrick, J., Morgan, P. L., Smy, V., Tiley, L., Seeby, H., Patrick, T., & Evans, J. (2015). The influence of training and experience on memory strategy. Memory and Cognition, 43(5), 775-787.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 24, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2015
Journal Memory and Cognition
Print ISSN 0090-502X
Electronic ISSN 1532-5946
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 5
Pages 775-787
Keywords memory, training
Public URL
Publisher URL

Downloadable Citations