Interference Effects on Commonly Used Memory Tasks Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper reports two studies which investigated the effect of interference on delayed recall scores of the WMS-III and other commonly used memory measures. In Study 1, participants completed the immediate and delayed components of the WMS-III, with or without the introduction of conceptually similar memory tasks between the recall trials. In Study 2, this order of administration was reversed, with the WMS-III subtests used as the interference items. The results indicated that the introduction of interference items during the delay negatively affected delayed recall performance on almost all sub-tests. In addition, equal effects of proactive and retroactive interference were demonstrated. These findings raise concerns regarding the standardization process for memory tasks and highlight the need to consider interference effects in clinical practice, and stand as a caution in the use of memory-related materials during the delay interval in memory testing.

publication date

  • February 1, 2009