Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Paul D. Loprinzi

Second Advisor

Allison Ford-Wade

Third Advisor

Victoria Zigmont

Relational Format



Previous research has indicated that aspects of cognitive inhibition may be enhanced after engaging in acute exercise. Notably, cognitive inhibition has been theorized as a potential mechanism for a form of active forgetting known as retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). Given that cognitive inhibition may explain the RIF phenomenon, and is also influenced by exercise, it is plausible that acute exercise may directly influence RIF. To our knowledge, only one study has examined whether acute exercise has an effect on RIF. The findings of that study did not find a statistically significant effect for RIF; however, we believe that the rather small sample size (N=40) may have limited the statistical power to detect a significant effect. Therefore, the present thesis (N=158) aims to address that limitation by increasing the sample size to a degree that would improve the potential for statistical significance to be reached. The methods in this thesis were similar to that of the past experiment, however, the exercise protocol was positioned after the cued-recall test, as opposed to before. The findings of this thesis demonstrated that (1) RIF was reliably induced with a cued-recall based task and (2) acute exercise preserved RIF. Therefore, an exercise-RIF relationship may exist when recall occurs before exercise, as demonstrated by the preservation of RIF after acute exercise.

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