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The Potential Influence of To-Be-Forgotten Information on Educational Judgments

, Stephan Dutke

Abstract: Teachers often face complex educational judgments and research has shown that teachers are prone to be influenced by unrelated information in their judgments and decisions. To investigate the influence of potential misinformation we employed a list-method directed forgetting paradigm and investigated a simulated judgment scenario, in which participants were asked to recommend a higher or lower school track for a fictitious elementary school child. Previous research using list-method directed forgetting revealed that participants can intentionally forget information but this information might still influence further judgments. In two experiments, data on recall performance, school track recommendation, and the evaluative impression of the target were analyzed to investigate whether participants were able to intentionally forget information and whether the to-be-forgotten information influenced later judgments. To-be-forgotten information was either presented before (Experiment 1) or following (Experiment 2) information instructed to be remembered. Both experiments revealed that participants did not forget information instructed to be forgotten and their judgments were not influenced by this information. Bayes factors spoke in favor of the null hypotheses, indicating that the influence of to-be-forgotten information on simulated school track recommendations is questionable. Our results revealed important boundary conditions of directed forgetting in applied contexts.
Keywords: judgments / child / forgotten information / instructed / intentionally / list / Teachers / forgetting / recommendation

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