The generation effect

Various scientific studies have shown that when you actively consume and engage with new information, specifically by generating your own content, we retain this information better than when we only passively consume it. This is called the generation effect.

Although many studies have been conducted about the generation effect, so far 1 no studies have been able to explain the exact workings of this phenomenon.


  • Jacoby, Larry L. “On Interpreting the Effects of Repetition: Solving a Problem versus Remembering a Solution.” Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 17, no. 6 (December 1978): 649–67.
  • Bertsch, Sharon, Bryan J. Pesta, Richard Wiscott, and Michael A. McDaniel. “The Generation Effect: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Memory & Cognition 35, no. 2 (March 2007): 201–10.
  • Rosner, Zachary A., Jeremy A. Elman, and Arthur P. Shimamura. “The Generation Effect: Activating Broad Neural Circuits during Memory Encoding.” Cortex 49, no. 7 (July 2013): 1901–9.
  • Cunff, Anne-Laure Le. “The Generation Effect.” Ness Labs (blog), August 9, 2019.

  1. I last checked this 12-May-2021 ↩︎