Performance as a Function of the Testing Effect and Test Expectancy


Krista Homich

Date of Award


Degree Type

Archival Copy

First Advisor

Devin Burns


The testing effect and the role of the test expectancy were examined in this study through the use of PowerPoint lectures with interpolated quizzes and tests. The testing effect is the theory that being tested on material will increase retention of that material. The test expectancy effect is the theory that expecting a test will have a similar positive effect on retention. In this paper, the two effects were separated by the creation of four conditions. Half of all participants were quizzed at the midpoint of a lecture and half were not. Half of each group was warned about an upcoming quiz and half were not. This was done to determine if the quiz itself is responsible for the increase in retention or if the expectation of a test is enough to create the same results. The results of this study found a statistically significant effect for quizzing, such that those who were quizzed performed worse on the final test. There was not a significant result found for test expectancy and no evidence on an interaction between the two variables.

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