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Definition

Retroactive interference

Retroactive interference refers to difficulty in the recall of information because of later exposure to different material. If, for example, you have difficulty on a French achievement test because of your more recent exposure to Spanish, retroactive interference is the culprit. One way to remember the difference between proactive and retroactive interference is to keep in mind that protective interference progresses in time – the past interference with the present – whereas retroactive interference retrogresses in time, working backward as the present interferes with the part.

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