Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

Offline processing is regarded as the continued thought of information that occurs without explicit attention and outside of one’s conscious awareness, and it has been shown to be particularly advantageous in comparison to conscious thought and immediate testing in the realm of decision making. There is evidence for an underlying learning mechanism supported by offline processing, and recent work demonstrates advantages of offline processing in associative learning tasks. This study aims to address whether offline processing can be utilized as a practical technique in a real world learning task, and to investigate what specific types of distractor tasks best facilitate offline processing and learning. Participants encoded new real world information and were later tested on the material in either an immediate, same domain distractor, or different domain distractor condition in an online survey. Initial results indicate no advantage or disadvantage for either type of offline processing in comparison to immediate subsequent testing of newly encoded information. It is possible that this study presents evidence contrary to offline processing being a beneficial tool in real world learning, however, as such a newly investigated topic, this study more likely provides useful information as to what may or may not work in order to utilize offline processing in real world learning contexts.


Advisor: J. David Creswell

Department of Psychology

Embargo Date