Differential Effects of List Strength on Recollection and Familiarity

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Numerous studies have found a null list strength effect (LSE) for recognition sensitivity: Strengthening memory traces associated with some studied items does not impair recognition of nonstrengthened studied items. In Experiment 1, the author found a LSE using receiver operating characteristic-based measures of recognition sensitivity. To account for the discrepancy between this and prior research, the author (a) argues that a LSE occurs for recollection but not for discrimination based on familiarity, and (b) presents self-report data consistent with this hypothesis. Experiment 2 tested the dual-process hypothesis more directly, using switched-plurality (SP) lures to isolate the contribution of recollection. There was a significant LSE for comparisons involving SP lures; the LSE for discrimination of studied items and nominally unrelated lures (which can be supported by familiarity) was not significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1094
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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