Academic journal article Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

The Influence of Averaging and Noisy Decision Strategies on the Recognition Memory ROC

Academic journal article Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

The Influence of Averaging and Noisy Decision Strategies on the Recognition Memory ROC

Article excerpt

Many single- and dual-process models of recognition memory predict that the ratings and remember-know receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) are the same, but Rotello, Macmillan, and Reeder (2004) reported that the slopes of the remember-know and ratings z-transformed ROCs (zROCs) are different. The authors show that averaging introduces nonlinearities to the form of the zROC and that ratings and remember-know zROCs are indistinguishable when constructed in a conventional manner. The authors show, further, that some nonoptimal decision strategies have a distinctive, nonlinear effect on the form of the single-process continuous-state zROC. The conclusion is that many factors having nothing to do with the nature of recognition memory can affect the shape of zROCs, and that therefore, the shape of the zROC does not, alone, characterize different memory models.

At issue is the nature of the information used to recognize whether a stimulus was encountered in a specific context. Single-process continuous-state models assume that recognition is based on a continuous random variable that is often conceptualized as familiarity (see, e.g., Egan, 1958). The more similar the stimulus is to memory traces associated with a specified context, the more familiar the stimulus seems and the more likely it is that one will positively endorse it. Dual-process models assume that recognition is sometimes based on stimulus familiarity and other times based on recalling the details of an event (see, e.g., Atkinson & Juola, 1974; Jacoby, 1991; Malmberg, Holden, & Shiffrin, 2004; Mandler, 1980; Reder et al., 2000; Rotello, Macmillan, & Reeder, 2004; Yonelinas, 1994). If the details retrieved from memory correspond to the specified context, the stimulus is endorsed. If details are not retrieved, recognition is based on stimulus familiarity.

The remember-know task (RK task; Gardiner, 1988; Tulving, 1983) has been purported to distinguish between the single- and dual-process models (Yonelinas, 2002). Following a positive yes-no recognition decision, subjects introspectively decide whether their "yes" response was based on recollecting episodic details or on a feeling of knowing that they had studied the item. We refer to the probability of responding "yes" to a studied item (or target) as the hit rate (HR) and the probability of responding "yes" to an unstudied item (or foil) as the false alarm rate (FAR). Likewise, we refer to the probability of responding "remember" to a target as the remember HR and the probability of responding "remember" to a foil as the remember FAR. Accordingly, there typically exist two HR-FAR pairs for each condition in a remember-know experiment, and the function relating these data is referred to as the remember-know receiver operating characteristic (RK ROC).

Many single-process models of the RK task are extensions of signal detection theory (Donaldson, 1996; Green & Swets, 1966; Hirshman & Master, 1997; Malmberg, Zeelenberg, & Shiffrin, 2004). Recognition is above chance when the mean of the target familiarity distribution is greater than the mean of the foil familiarity distribution, and the RK task is modeled by comparing a sample from the appropriate distribution to two criteria. If the familiarity of the stimulus exceeds a relatively lenient yes-no criterion, the response is "yes." If the familiarity of the stimulus subsequently exceeds a stricter RK criterion, the response is "remember"; the response is "know," otherwise. Within the dual-process framework, variables affecting remember and know rates, respectively, reflect changes in the contribution of recollection and familiarity to recognition.

The ratings task has also been purported to distinguish between single- and dual-process models (Yonelinas, 2002). In a ratings task, subjects determine their confidence that they had studied a test item. For each level of confidence there is an HR-FAR pair, and the cumulative function relating HR-FAR pairs as a function of confidence is the ratings ROC. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.