This study investigated whether memory for well-understood ideas could be improved by deeper understanding. In Experiment 1, subjects learned ideas presented with or without additional explanations designed to increase understanding of the ideas. In Experiment 2, subjects learned ideas presented with explanations or qualifications that increased processing, but not understanding, of the ideas. Explanations and qualifications both increased free, as well as cued, recall of the ideas, suggesting that the effects of explanation are the result of increased processing, rather than of deeper understanding.
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