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ERIC Number: EJ934498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Variations in Recollection: The Effects of Complexity on Source Recognition
Parks, Colleen M.; Murray, Linda J.; Elfman, Kane; Yonelinas, Andrew P.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n4 p861-873 Jul 2011
Whether recollection is a threshold or signal detection process is highly controversial, and the controversy has centered in part on the shape of receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) and z-transformed ROCs (zROCs). U-shaped zROCs observed in tests thought to rely heavily on recollection, such as source memory tests, have provided evidence in favor of the threshold assumption, but zROCs are not always as U-shaped as threshold theory predicts. Source zROCs have been shown to become more linear when the contribution of familiarity to source discriminations is increased, and this may account for the existing results. However, another way in which source zROCs may become more linear is if the recollection threshold begins to break down and recollection becomes more graded and Gaussian. We tested the "graded recollection" account in the current study. We found that increasing stimulus complexity (i.e., changing from single words to sentences) or increasing source complexity (i.e., changing the sources from audio to videos of speakers) resulted in flatter source zROCs. In addition, conditions expected to reduce recollection (i.e., divided attention and amnesia) had comparable effects on source memory in simple and complex conditions, suggesting that differences between simple and complex conditions were due to differences in the nature of recollection, rather than differences in the utility of familiarity. The results suggest that under conditions of high complexity, recollection can appear more graded, and it can produce curved ROCs. The results have implications for measurement models and for current theories of recognition memory. (Contains 2 tables, 8 figures and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children