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Making random guesses does not appear to benefit later memory for the right answer, but near-miss guesses act as stepping stones for retrieval of the correct information – and this benefit is seen in younger and older adults.

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Cyr, A.-A. & Anderson, N. D. (2014). Mistakes as Stepping Stones: Effects of Errors on Episodic Memory Among Younger and Older AdultsJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.