Analysis of storage, retention, and retrieval in standard free recall, extended free recall, and repeated recall after a single presentation indicates that most recall failures are retrieval failures, and that extended recall decreases retrieval failure and increases consistent retrieval. Stages of random and consistent retrieval account for total recall in terms of items consistently retrieved from the beginning, items stored for random retrieval, items actually retrieved at random, and additional items reaching the stage of consistent retrieval. The distinction between stages of random and consistent retrieval is supported by showing that random retrieval does not improve prior to the abrupt onset of consistent retrieval. This also indicates that increasing recall is due to the increasing number of consistently retrieved items.
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