Memory, Law, & Education Lab

Iowa State University

Research

We do research in the area human memory, and in particular its interaction with education and law. Two major lines of research are being pursued: 1) to explore ways to enhance memory performance, and 2) to understand the limits of memory-enhancement techniques.

One line of research focuses on how taking memory test affects subsequent memory performance. Aside from being an evaluation tool, memory tests can dramatically enhance subsequent memory performance. Currently, our research focuses on how testing affects new learning — that is, information to be learned after testing.

Another line of research focuses on how misleading information affects eyewitness memory accuracy. Previous research suggests that eyewitness memory accuracy declines with exposure to misleading information. Our research focuses on how recall affects an eyewitness’ susceptibility to subsequent misinformation.

Our research has been covered by major press outlets, including Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, Scientific American, etc.

Chan, J. C. K., Manley, K. D., & Lang, K. (2017). Retrieval-enhanced suggestibility: A retrospective and a new investigation. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, in press.

Davis, S. D., Chan, J. C. K., & Wilford, M. M. (2017). The dark side of interpolated testing: Frequent switching between retrieval and encoding impairs new learning. Journal of Applied Research on Memory and Cognition, in press.

Szpunar, K. K., & Chan, J. C. K. (2017). Beyond communication: Episodic memory is key to the self in time. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, in press.

Davis, S. D., & Chan, J. C. K. (2015). Studying on borrowed time: How does testing impair new learning? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 1841-1754.

Chan, J. C. K., Erdman, M. R., & Davis, S. D. (2015). Retrieval induces forgetting, but only when nontested items compete for retrieval: implication for interference, inhibition, and context reinstatement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 1298-1315.

LaPaglia, J. A., Wilford, M. M., Rivard, J. R., Chan, J. C. K., & Fisher, R. P. (2014). Misleading suggestions can alter later memory reports even following a Cognitive Interview. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 1-9.

Wilford, M. M., Chan, J. C. K., & Tuhn, S.J. (2014). Retrieval enhances eyewitness suggestibility to misinformation in free and cued recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 20, 81-93.

Chan, J. C. K., & LaPaglia, J. A. (2013). Impairing existing declarative memory in humans by disrupting reconsolidation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(23), 9309–9313.

LaPaglia, J. A., & Chan, J. C. K. (2013). Testing increases suggestibility for narrative-based misinformation but reduces suggestibility for question-based misinformation. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 31, 593-606.

Erdman, M. R., & Chan, J. C. K. (2013). Providing corrective feedback during retrieval practice does not increase retrieval-induced forgetting. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25, 692-703.

LaPaglia, J. A., & Chan, J. C. K. (2012). Retrieval does not always enhance suggestibility: Testing can improve witness identification performance. Law and Human Behavior, 36, 478-487.

Chan, J. C. K., Wilford, M. M., & Hughes, K. L. (2012). Retrieval can increase or decrease suggestibility depending on how memory is tested: The importance of source complexity. Journal of Memory and Language, 67, 78-85.

Chan, J. C. K., & LaPaglia, J. A. (2011). The dark side of testing memory: Repeated retrieval can enhance eyewitness suggestibility. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17, 418-432.Chan, J. C. K., & Langley, M. (2011).

Paradoxical effects of testing: Retrieval enhances both accurate recall and suggestibility in eyewitnesses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 248-255.

Thomas, A. K., Bulevich, J. B., & Chan, J. C. K. (2010). Testing promotes eyewitness accuracy with a warning -- Implications for retrieval enhanced suggestibility. Journal of Memory and Language, 63, 149-157.

Weinstein, Y., McDermott, K. B., & Chan, J. C. K. (2010). True and false memories in the DRM paradigm on a forced choice test. Memory, 18, 375-384.

Chan, J. C. K. (2010). Long-term effects of testing on the recall of nontested materials. Memory, 18, 49-57.

Chan, J. C. K. (2009). When does retrieval induce forgetting and when does it induce facilitation? Implications for retrieval inhibition, testing effect, and text processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 61, 153-170.

Chan, J. C. K., Thomas, A. K., & Bulevich, J. B. (2009). Recalling a witnessed event increases eyewitness suggestibility: The reversed testing effect. Psychological Science, 20, 66-73.

Szpunar, K. K., Chan, J. C. K., & McDermott, K. B. (2009). Contextual processing in episodic future thought. Cerebral Cortex, 19, 1539-1548.

Chan, J. C. K., & McDermott, K. B. (2007). The effects of frontal lobe functioning and age on veridical and false recall. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 606-611.

Chan, J. C. K., & McDermott, K. B. (2007). The testing effect in recognition memory: A dual process account. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 431-437.

McDermott, K. B., & Chan, J. C. K. (2006). Effects of repetition on memory for pragmatic inferences. Memory & Cognition, 34, 1273-1284.

Chan, J. C. K., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2006). Retrieval-induced facilitation: Initially nontested material can benefit from prior testing of related material. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135, 553-571.

Chan, J. C. K., & McDermott, K. B. (2006). Remembering pragmatic inferences. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 633-639.

Chan, J. C. K., McDermott, K. B., Watson, J. M., & Gallo, D. (2005). The importance of material-processing interactions in inducing false memories. Memory & Cognition, 33, 389-395.

Lindsay, D. S., Allen, B. P., Chan, J. C. K., & Dahl, L. C. (2004). Eyewitness suggestibility and source similarity: Intrusions of details from one event into memory reports of another event. Journal of Memory and Language, 50, 96-111.

Masson, M. E. J., Bub, D. N., Woodward, T. S., & Chan, J. C. K. (2003). Modulation of word-reading processes in task switching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 132, 400-418.

McDermott, K. B., & Chan, J. C. K. (2003). False memory. In J. H. Byrne (Ed.), Learning and Memory (pp. 145-147). New York: Macmillan.

Lab Members

Graduate Student

Sara D. Davis

Sara holds a Masters degree from Montana State University and is now working on projects related to retrieval practice and the misinformation effect.  

Graduate Student

Krista D. Manley

Krista holds a Masters degree from Montana State University and is now working on projects related to eyewitness identificaion and the misinformation effect.

Lab Alumni

Miko Wilford

Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Jessica LaPaglia

Assistant Professor, Morningside College

Matthew Erdman

Analyst, Ingersoll Rand

Moses Langley

Assistant Professor, Minnesota State Mankato

Research Opportunity

Dr. Chan’s Memory, Law, & Education lab welcomes motivated sophomores, juniors, and seniors to work as research assistants for both the fall and spring semesters. Our lab conducts research on human memory and its intersection with education and psych & law. Ongoing projects examine the false memory production and its prevention, how to improve the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, how to improve students' ability to learn new information, and how to improve students’ ability to cope with test anxiety. If you are interested in cognitive psych, ed psych, or psych & law and are looking for research experience, please contact Dr. Chan at ckchan@iastate.edu.

Direction to Lab

Our lab is located in Room 0017 in the basement floor of the Office & Laboratory Building. The O&L building is located between Physics and Gilman. You can access the building from its exterior entrance on Osborn Drive (shown below), or you can enter it from inside Physics or Gilman.