2nd Edition

Chapter 10

Interactive exercise



Cognitive control:
The ability to flexibly control thoughts in accordance with our goals, including our ability to stop unwanted thoughts from rising to consciousness.
Context shift hypothesis:
An alternative explanation for list-method directed forgetting, positing that forget instructions separate first-list items into a distinct context, which unless reinstated during the final test will make the later context a relatively ineffectual retrieval cue.
Directed forgetting:
The tendency for an instruction to forget recently experienced items to induce memory impairment for those items.
Emotion regulation:
Goal-driven monitoring, evaluating, altering, and gating one’s emotional reactions and memories about emotional experiences.
The improvement in recall performance arising from repeated testing sessions on the same material.
Positivity bias:
The tendency, increasing over the lifespan, to recall more pleasant memories than either neutral or unpleasant ones.
Psychogenic amnesia:
Profound and surprising episodes of forgetting the events of one’s life, arising from psychological factors, rather than biological damage or dysfunction.
Psychogenic fugue:
A form of psychogenic amnesia typically lasting a few hours or days following a severe trauma, in which afflicted individuals forget their entire life history, including who they are.
The remembering again of the forgotten, without learning or a gradual process of improvement in the capacity to revive past experiences.
In psychoanalytic theory, a psychological defense mechanism that banishes unwanted memories, ideas, and feelings into the unconscious in an effort to reduce conflict and psychic pain. Theoretically, repression can either be conscious or nonconscious.
Retrieval inhibition hypothesis:
A proposed mechanism underlying list-method directed forgetting suggesting that first-list items are temporarily inhibited in response to the instruction to forget and can be reactivated by subsequent presentations of the to-be-forgotten items.
Spontaneous recovery:
The term arising from the classical conditioning literature given to the reemergence of a previously extinguished conditioned response after a delay; similarly; forgotten declarative memories have been observed to recover over time.
Think/no-think (TNT) paradigm:
A procedure designed to study the ability to volitionally suppress retrieval of a memory when confronted with reminders.


Research activities: motivated forgetting

Activity 1

Critically review the cases of recovered memories presented in this chapter under the following headings: “Assessment and methodological issues”; “Possible roles of the therapist”; and “Possible motivations of the client”. Where do you stand in the debate concerning the validity of recovered memories?

Activity 2

Think about times when you have tried to forget an unpleasant experience. Did you use motivated context shifts and/or retrieval suppression as strategies, and if so how successful were these in both the short and long term? Are there any other strategies that were useful to you that are not covered?


The Recovered Memory Project: This project collects and disseminates information relevant to the debate over whether traumatic events can be forgotten and then remembered later in life.
Bower, B. (1993). Sudden recall: Adult memories of child abuse spark a heated debate. recall
Anderson, M.C., and Hanslmayr, S. (2014). Neural mechanisms of motivated forgetting. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Please find below biographies of four important figures in the field of memory: Sigmund Freud, Michael Kopelman, Robert Bjork, Elizabeth Bjork.

Sigmund Freud

Personal history

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Shlomo Freud, was born on May 6, 1856 in the Austrian Empire’s Freiberg, Moravia, which is now known as Príbor in the Czech Republic. Freud’s parents, his father being a wool merchant with a third wife half his age, had little in the way of money, though they realized the young Freud’s obvious intellect and would let nothing (not even the seven siblings that followed) stand in the way of ensuring that Sigmund received a fitting education. When his father, Jacob, lost his business in the economic crisis of 1857, the family moved out of the one room apartment they lived in on the first floor of a blacksmith’s house to Vienna, by way of Leipzig, under the new political rights afforded to the Jews.

There, Sigmund attended the Leopoldstädter Kommunal-Realgymnasium for high school, beginning in 1865. Receiving top marks, he graduated in 1873 with honors. In that year Freud went on to study medicine at the University of Vienna, at the same time conducting physiological and histological research under the supervision of Ernst Brüke for 6 years. Freud studied nerves and brain anatomy/pathology in everything from the Petromyzon, a primitive fish species, all the way up to the human medulla oblongata during his time with Brüke. Within this period, Brüke was developing his idea of “psychodynamics,” that is, the concept that living organisms are essentially ever changing systems under the direct influence of the laws of chemistry and physics.

Freud served in the military between 1897–1880, but soon returned to finish his medical degree in 1881, after which point he took a temporary post in Brüke’s laboratory. As he worked toward establishing his own clinical practice, he courted Martha Bernays, who would become his wife, after an extended engagement during which he wrote nearly 1000 letters to her. Simultaneously, Freud began his residency at the Viennese General Hospital, where he did some early research on the effects of cocaine, occasionally using himself as a research subject.

In 1885, he traveled to the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris to study under Jean-Martin Charcot, a renowned neurologist who taught Freud the importance of uncovering the root causes of neurosis through observation, rather than simply focusing on the physical manifestations of the underlying problem. Freud returned to Vienna to pass along his new perspective, speaking to the Vienna Medical Society about hypnosis, which was received with great skepticism. Freud would then establish his clinical psychopathology practice, earning enough money to marry Martha on September 18, 1886 and support the six children they had together. Soon thereafter, he accepted an appointment as director of neurology at the Institute for Children’s Diseases.

Over time, Freud began to lose faith in hypnosis as a treatment for neuroses, but became intrigued by a cathartic method, also called the “talking cure,” developed by Freud’s friend, Dr Josef Breuer, as he was treating a patient named Annie O. Freud adopted Breuer’s methodology and developed it into what he would come to call psychoanalysis in 1896. Patients were encouraged to free associate, saying whatever came to mind, bypassing psychological defenses. Through his patient work, Freud became convinced that hysteria was primarily rooted in sexual abuses (real or imagined) from childhood.

Anna Freud, Martha and Sigmund’s last daughter, was born in 1895, the same year Freud set out to develop an integrated model of “Scientific Psychology” which, he hoped, would explain both mental and physical phenomena. Sadly, this project ended in frustration, as did a number of close friendships, including that of his protégé Carl Jung, who disagreed with Freud’s focus on sexuality.

Driven into an intense period of work following his father’s death resulted in the publication of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900, which first introduced the notion of the Oedipus complex and slowly began to amass an interested reading public. Following the release of another book a year later, the Psychology of Everyday Life popularized the Freudian slips. A year later Freud would accept the post of associate professor at the University of Vienna.

In 1908, he established the Psychoanalytic Society in Vienna and, later, the International Psychoanalytic Association, which would be headed by his close associate, Carl Jung. In 1920, Freud’s daughter Sophie died, prompting him to write Beyond the Pleasure Principle and, later, The Ego and the Id, which formally laid out his structural theory of the mind. In 1924, Freud was appointed “Citizen of Vienna” and, in recognition of his accessible writing style, was awarded the Goethe Prize for Literature. However, he suffered a blow when he lost his mother in 1930.

Freud initially refused to move out of Austria, despite being annexed by the Nazis in 1938 and the public burning of his books in Berlin. The final straw came after his daughter Anna was arrested by the Gestapo. He called up his friends to enable him to move, with his wife, daughter, and dog, to London in June, 1938. Freud continued to smoke cigars until his death, despite having 30 surgeries to contain the jaw cancer that would lead to his demise. Though he continued to write and engage in some limited clinical work during his recurring battle with cancer, Freud gave up his practice 7 weeks before he was to die, helped along by his personal physician who, per agreement, administered a lethal injection of morphine on September 23, 1939 in Freud’s study. Freud’s ashes are kept in a Middlesex crematorium, inside one of his favorite Greek urns.


Although Freud published several medical papers on the neurological basis of cerebral palsy, he is best know for his title as the father of Psychoanalysis, having developed both a theory of the human mind and clinical methods for treating neurotic individuals. In contrast to the dominant psychological movement at the time, positivism, which claimed that people act in voluntary, rational ways, Freud emphasized the unconscious processes that drive human behavior. Specifically, Freud proposed that there are levels of consciousness, with most thoughts existing below the surface and only the tip of the iceberg being exposed to direct awareness. There are routes to tap the unconscious, according to Freud, especially through dreams and the more directly accessible preconscious level separating the conscious from the truly unconscious.

Freud believed the unconscious mind served as a refuge for thoughts and feelings regarded as too painful for the patient. Although these memories cannot be eliminated from the mind entirely, people could intentionally or unintentionally engage the defense mechanism called repression (or suppression) to send them into exile in the unconscious mind. Unfortunately, the repressed memories would fester and seep out through dreams or undesirable behaviors.

Freud’s revolutionary proposal that the mind was not homogenous went beyond a simple division between the three levels of consciousness. He believed that the unconscious could be further divided, in Freud’s view: the id (German, “es”; Latin for “it”) that houses the mind’s primitive need for gratification, including Eros (the libidinal, life instinct) and Thanatos (the death instinct); the self-critical superego (German, “überich”; Latin for “that”) that reflects the social standards and morals adopted from one’s superiors; and the ego (German, “ich”; Latin for “I”) that rationally arbitrates between one’s primitive drives and morals and provides a sense of personal identity as well as a passageway to the conscious mind. The dynamic between these subdivisions was of primary interest to Freud and his followers, arguing that the relative hierarchy is in a constant state of flux, depending on the situation.

Freud offered a developmental scheme to his theories, arguing that people fixate on particular objects as they progress through psychosexual development, moving from oral to anal, to phallic, to latency, to genital. If an individual’s needs are frustrated or overindulged at a particular stage, a significant amount of psychic energy would remain locked in that phase, affecting their personality in predictable ways.

The psychoanalytic technique Freud developed, based on Breuer’s earlier work, sought to pinpoint the repressions that disrupt normal psychosexual development and result in neuroses, bringing them into the light of consciousness, and resolving them directly through the ego. Through this process, it was thought, the ego would also be strengthened in order to handle future conflicts. Typically, this was accomplished by permitting the patient to free-associate and discuss their dreams and the earliest occurrences of the symptoms.

The reclined position (on Freud’s famous couch) served to minimize sensory stimulation, remove the analyst from the patient’s view, and mute the superego’s filter (in much the same way as sleep was thought to do), allowing the repressed material to surface. The analyst filled a background role, primarily there to encourage the patient to talk and to help the patient recognize and overcome their obstacles to treatment. The onus was on the patient to work to uncover their unresolved conflicts and, in turn, cure themselves.

Freud methodically documented nearly every aspect of his own thoughts, those of his patients, and indeed even the development of his children. He considered his psychoanalytic theory a new science that could explain almost any aspect of human behavior. For this reason, however, his theory suffered the flaw of being largely untestable, unable to be falsified, and often circular. Though his work has suffered great criticism for its lack of empirical substantiation, in recent years, evidence for the ability to suppress unwanted memories has been documented by Anderson and colleagues using the Think/No-Think paradigm. Furthermore, though their numbers are dwindling, analysts do continue to treat patients and guide their self-discovery.


Freud, S. (1933). New introductory lectures on psycho-analysis. London: Hogarth Press.

Freud, S. (1924). Beyond the pleasure principle. New York: Boni and Liveright.

Freud, S. (1954). The interpretation of dreams. J. Strachey (Ed.). London: Allen & Unwin.

Freud, S. (1966). The psychopathology of everyday life. London: Benn.

Michael Kopelman

Personal history

Michael Kopelman was born in London, England on February 8, 1950 and received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology and economics, with honors, from Keele University in 1972. In 1978, he received his M.B. B.S. from the University of London. In 1988, Kopelman became a Chartered Psychologist in the same year he received his Ph.D. from the University of London’s Institute of Psychiatry. He was elected a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1990 and of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1993. Following a number of lectureships, Kopelman became a Reader in Neuropsychiatry at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St. Thomas’s.

He is currently a Professor of Neuropsychiatry, at Kings College London’s Institute of Psychiatry and an honorary Consultant Neuropsychiatrist for the National Health Service, based at St. Thomas’s Hospital, where he runs a psychiatry and memory disorders clinic. Kopelman has served as President of the British Neuropsychological Society between 2004 and 2006, is a founding member of the Memory Disorders Research Society, and is currently President-Elect of the International Neuropsychiatric Association.


Professor Kopelman’s career as a neuropsychologist has led him to investigate the theoretical aspects of memory and other cognitive disorders. His early work was concerned with forgetting rates in Alzheimer-type dementia and Korsakoff’s syndrome. In contrast to then current thinking, Kopelman demonstrated that the primary deficit in these populations related to encoding and consolidation, rather than a long-term storage problem. This work led him to study cholinergic depletion and extent of retrograde amnesia associated with these diagnoses. During the course of this work, he developed the Autobiographical Memory Interview, and differentiated spontaneous and provoked types of confabulation common in amnesic patients.

Kopelman was on the cutting edge of using structural magnetic resonance imaging to quantify the extent of brain damage in his patients, and how that related to the degree of their deficits on neuropsychological measures. This level of detailed analysis permitted Kopelman to map the relationship between focal hippocampal damage and anterograde recollective abilities, as well as between extra-hippocampal damage and familiarity-based recognition. He, together with Eleanor Maguire, has also employed functional MRI in order to follow semantic dementia patients longitudinally, over a 3-year period, to track the disease’s progression.

Recently, Kopelman has been working with Brian Butterworth and Marinella Cappelletti to distinguish between numerical and language-based semantics. Along with Jackie Masterson and Judit Druks, Kopelman has further identified symptoms that differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from semantic dementia.

Kopelman has served as an expert witness in numerous human rights, homicide, and appeals cases, weighing in on the overturning of convictions, death row, and extradition cases, as well as several Belmarsh and Guantanamo Bay detainees.


Kopelman, M. D. (2002). Disorders of memory. Brain, 125, 2152–2190.

Kopelman, M. D., Lasserson, D., Kingsley, D. R., Bello, F., Rush, C., Stanhope, N., Stevens, T. G., Goodman, G., Buckman, J. R., Heilpern, G., Kendall, B. E., & Colchester, A. C. F. (2003). Retrograde amnesia and the volume of critical brain structures. Hippocampus, 13(8), 879–891.

Kopelman, M. D., Bright, P., Buckman, J., Fradera, A., Yoshimasu, H., Jacobson, C., & Colchester, A. C. F. (2007). Recall and recognition memory in amnesia: Patients with hippocampal, medial temporal, temporal lobe or frontal pathology. Neuropsychologia, 45, 1232–1246             

Baddeley, A. D., Kopelman, M. D., & Wilson, B. (Eds.) (2002). Handbook of Memory Disorders (2nd ed). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Co.

Young, S., Gudjonsson, G., & Kopelman, M. D. (2009). Forensic neuropsychology Oxford: Oxford University Press.

David, A., Fleminger, S., Kopelman, M. D., Lovestone, S., & Mellors, J. (2009). Lishman’s organic psychiatry (4th ed), Oxford: Blackwell Press.

Robert Bjork

Personal history

The last of four boys born to his Norwegian mother and Swedish father, Robert Bjork was born in Minnesota on January 30, 1939, just as the Great Depression was winding down and World War II was gearing up. He grew up in the Lake Minnetonka area of Minnesota and spent much of his nonacademic time playing sports, going to church, and working as a caddy at a local golf course, an experience that led to a life-long interest in golf and to his being supported by an Evans (caddy) Scholarship during his undergraduate years at the University of Minnesota.

Inspired by a gifted high-school chemistry teacher, he began his undergraduate career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, which had an outstanding undergraduate program in chemistry. After his freshman year, however, during which he won St. Olaf’s freshman award in mathematics, he was forced—by financial difficulties (and by St. Olaf’s uncivilized practice of having Saturday classes)—to transfer to the University of Minnesota, to which he commuted from his parents’ home before, happily, being awarded an Evans Scholarship and moving to the Evans Scholar House on the Minnesota campus.

At the University of Minnesota, Bjork switched to Physics and did well enough to earn Phi Beta Kappa and other honors, but in his senior year he became disenchanted with physics, in part owing to its equipment-intensive nature, and intrigued with psychology. On the advice a counselor, he switched his major to mathematics and met with Professor David LaBerge to discuss what the field of mathematical psychology might be all about. He was captivated by LaBerge’s enthusiasm and spent a graduate year at Minnesota before transferring to Stanford University, which LaBerge considered the place to be for an aspiring young mathematical psychologist.

At Stanford—supported by National Defense Education Act and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships—Bjork spent his graduate career surrounded by wonderful mentors (especially William Estes, Gordon Bower, Richard Atkinson, and Patrick Suppes) and exceptional graduate-student colleagues during a period when there was great excitement about the potential of mathematical and computer models to capture the dynamics of human learning and memory.

On completing his Ph.D., Bjork was hired by the University of Michigan where he then spent the first 8 years of his research career before moving to his long-term academic home, the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is currently Distinguished Professor. At Michigan, Bjork joined the Human Performance Center, directed by Arthur Melton, an intellectually vibrant place with an exceptional record of its graduate students moving on to be leaders in the field. It was at Michigan, too, that Bjork met one Elizabeth Ligon, who became his wife and collaborator. They were married in 1969 in New York City, where Elizabeth was a research associate and lecturer at Rockefeller University.

Across his career, Bjork has served the field of psychological science with unusual distinction. He has served as: Editor of Memory & Cognition; Editor of Psychological Review; Co-editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest; and Chair of a National Research Council Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance. His positions of leadership include President of the Association for Psychological Science, President of the Western Psychological Association, Chair of the Psychonomic Society, Chair of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, Chair of the Council of Editors of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Chair of the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology.

He is a recipient of UCLA's Distinguished Teaching Award and both the Distinguished Scientist Lecturer Award and the Distinguished Service to Psychological Science Award from the American Psychological Association. In 2011 (with Elizabeth L. Bjork) he was honored by the Federation of Associations in Brain & Behavioral Sciences. He has also received the Norman Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2012) and in 2013 became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


As a graduate student, in an attempt to control for memory load, Bjork introduced cues to participants saying that they could forget some of what they had studied, that they would not be tested on those items. To his and others’ surprise, such an instruction eliminated the proactive interference from those items in the recall of subsequent to-be-remembered items. That finding lead to a career-long interest in directed—that is, intentional—forgetting, the dynamics of which have been of strong interest not only to cognitive psychologists, but also to clinical psychologists, social psychologists, and neuroscientists. His research on directed forgetting eventually implicated inhibitory processes and led him to argue that retrieval inhibition and the loss of access to information in memory—that is, forgetting—play a broadly adaptive role in the functioning of human memory, including keeping our memories current.

Bjork also played a key role in clarifying the dynamics of retrieval processes in human memory, especially by demonstrating that the act of retrieval is a “memory modifier,” in the sense that retrieved information becomes more recallable in the future than it would have been otherwise, and competing information associated with the same cue or configuration of cues becomes less recallable. From a theoretical standpoint, Bjork and his collaborators were among the first to emphasize that using our memories shapes our memories, not only by making retrieved information more recallable in the future, but also via retrieval-induced forgetting of competing information. From a practical standpoint, Bjork was among the first to argue that the potency of retrieval as a learning event has broad implications for the optimization of instruction.

Finally, Bjork’s research on how people think they learn, versus actually learn, has demonstrated that our mental models of ourselves as learners and rememberers are faulty in some fundamental ways, which, among other things, means that optimizing instruction requires unintuitive innovations, including introducing desirable difficulties for the learner.


Bjork, R. A. (1989). Retrieval inhibition as an adaptive mechanism in human memory. In H. L. Roediger and F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), Varieties of memory and consciousness: Essays in honor of Endel Tulving (pp. 309-330). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Anderson, M. C., Bjork, R. A., & Bjork, E. L. (1994). Remembering can cause forgetting: Retrieval dynamics in long-term memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20, 1063–1087.

Bjork, R. A. (1999). Assessing our own competence: Heuristics and illusions. In D. Gopher and A. Koriat (Eds.), Attention and performance XVII. Cognitive regulation of performance: Interaction of theory and application (pp. 435–459). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Dunlosky, J., & Bjork, R. A. (Eds.). (2008). A handbook of metamemory and memory: Essays in Honor of Thomas O. Nelson. New York: Psychology Press.

Elizabeth Bjork

Personal history

Elizabeth Ligon Bjork, the last child and only daughter in the family, was born in China during World War II, where her parents were medical missionaries. Immediately upon her birth, her mother was forced to flee to America with Elizabeth and her older brothers on a Japanese passenger ship, while her father remained behind to serve with the Red Cross. When the ship reached the coast of California, it was refused permission to dock, but the Coast Guard sent smaller boats out to bring Elizabeth, her mother, and her brothers to shore.

After living in California as “displaced persons” for several months, they were eventually allowed to move to Pennsylvania, the home state of Elizabeth’s mother. Her father, who was imprisoned by the Japanese, but eventually released in a prisoner exchange, was united with the family after the war and joined the Public Health Service. The family took up residence in Oklahoma, expecting to return to China some day—but that day never arrived—and they remained in Oklahoma for many years until eventually moving to New York City.

Growing up in Oklahoma, Elizabeth learned to love the outdoors, horseback riding, and many sports, especially college football, which verged on a religion in Oklahoma at that time. She was inspired by a gifted teacher to pursue a career in mathematics and eventually earned a bachelors degree in mathematics from the University of Florida, where she graduated with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She discovered psychology somewhat by accident—when, during her senior year, she took introductory psychology to fulfill a general-education requirement—an experience that led her to apply to graduate programs in both mathematics and mathematical psychology.

After being accepted by the University of Michigan in both programs, she spent her first 2 years at Michigan studying in both departments, eventually deciding to focus on psychology and the study of memory. She had the good fortune to be mentored by Arthur Melton, a distinguished scientist and editor who had played an important role in establishing psychology as a science, distinct from philosophy and education.

Upon completing her Ph.D., during which time she was supported by NIH pre-doctoral fellowships, Elizabeth accepted a position as a Research Associate and Lecturer at the Rockefeller University in New York City, joining the Mathematical Psychology Laboratory, headed by William K. Estes. After marrying Robert A. Bjork in 1969, she returned to the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the faculty, and was appointed Assistant Professor in 1972. In 1974 she moved to what has since been her professional home, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where the Bjorks were one of the first couples in the University of California system to both hold professorial positions in the same department.

Across her years at UCLA, her professional achievements have been accompanied by nonprofessional achievements, including being the mother to three sons and earning age- and gender-group awards in distance running, including competing in three marathons. The paperback edition of the Handbook of Perception and Cognition, written by Elizabeth and Robert, was selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book for 1997. In 2011 (with Robert Bjork) she was honored by the Federation of Associations in Brain & Behavioral Sciences.


At the time Elizabeth and Robert Bjork were hired by UCLA, it remained the case that couples in the same department were obligated to work and teach in different areas—which accounts, in part, for many of Elizabeth Bjork’s early publications being in fields such as visual cognition (e.g., on the nature of input channels in visual processing, Psychological Review, 1977) and cognitive development (e.g., infants’ visual-spatial search errors, Memory & Cognition, 1984). Only about two decades later did the Bjorks feel free to collaborate on research: Their first joint publication—other than a brief conference publication in 1988—appeared 23 years after their marriage (Bjork & Bjork, 1992). Since that time, Elizabeth Bjork’s research focus has returned to what drew her to cognitive psychology: trying to understand the dynamics of human learning and memory.

Elizabeth Bjork has made key contributions to both basic and applied research on human memory. Her research on varieties of goal-directed forgetting, both intentional and unintentional, and on the adaptive role that inhibitory processes play in an efficient and adaptive memory system, has helped to clarify the competitive dynamics in human memory and how competition is resolved in the interests of keeping our memories current. Her basic and applied research on the implications of the science of memory for the optimization of instruction has also had a major impact, especially in clarifying the distinction and interaction between two dimensions of stored representations in memory: retrieval strength (the current ease of access to a representation) and storage strength (the degree to which a representation is inter-associated with related representations in memory).

Across her career, Elizabeth Bjork has served the field in multiple ways, including serving on editorial and grant-review panels. She has held a variety of administrative positions, including serving as Chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate. For her programmatic contributions to undergraduate teaching, including creating a research-methods course that every year provides hundreds of undergraduates with hands-on experience in how to conduct research—and has been a model for a number of other such courses at Universities in the United States—she was awarded UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She also originated and continues to oversee the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, which annually provides hundreds of undergraduates from UCLA and other colleges and universities the opportunity to present their research in a professional forum.


Bjork, R. A., & Bjork, E. L. (1992). A new theory of disuse and an old theory of stimulus fluctuation. In A. F. Healy, S. M. Kosslyn, and R. M. Shiffrin (Eds.), From learning processes to cognitive processes: Essays in honor of William K. Estes, (Vol. 2, pp. 35–67). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bjork, E. L., & Bjork, R. A. (1996). Memory (Volume 10). In E. C. Carterette and M. P. Friedman (Eds.), Handbook of perception and cognition. New York: Academic Press.

Bjork, E. L., Bjork, R. A., & Anderson, M. C. (1998). Varieties of goal directed forgetting. In J. M. Golding and C. M. MacLeod (Eds.), Intentional forgetting: Interdisciplinary approaches (pp. 103–137). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bjork, E. L., & Bjork, R. A. (2003). Intentional forgetting can increase, not decrease, the residual influence of to-be-forgotten information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and, Cognition, 29, 524–531. (Featured, Science in Brief, Monitor on Psychology, 2003, September: “Study finds a dark side to forgetting false information,” E. Bensen.)

Bjork, E. L., deWinstanley, P. A., & Storm, B. C. (2007). Learning how to learn: Can experiencing the outcome of different encoding strategies enhance subsequent encoding? Psychological Bulletin & Review, 14, 207–211.