Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Douglas Nelson.

Keywords

printed frequency, connectivity, set size, memory, frequency estimation

Abstract

Four linked experiments were run in order to understand the relationship between frequency judgment and recognition discrimination tasks. The purpose of these studies was to contrast the common-path model and recursive reminding hypothesis as explanations for the underlying principles that drive these tasks. Item-attribute variables such as printed frequency, connectivity, and set size, and an episodic variable, study frequency were manipulated. Memory for recent episodes was evaluated using recognition and frequency judgment tasks. Although all of the variables, with the exception of set size, had significant effects in both tasks, an analysis of effect sizes revealed differences between the tasks in relation to the variables. Specifically, the item-attribute variables had larger effects in recognition than in JOF, and the effect size for study frequency was greater in the JOF task compared to recognition.

The reliability of these differences was statistically established by a repeated measures analysis run on the correlations between each subject's mean and the variables. Although the effect size pattern is consistent with the reminding hypothesis, the effects of connectivity and printed frequency in the JOF task are not as they represent familiarity measures. Thus, this finding indicates that familiarity must be involved in making frequency judgments, making the reminding hypothesis inadequate as an explanation as it does not take into account the effect of item-attribute variables and their contribution to familiarity with its subsequent effect on frequency estimates.

Therefore, it is proposed that a dual-process approach that takes into account both the reminding and recollection at test in the JOF task, as well as attempting to explain the influence of an underlying construct such as familiarity that effects both tasks may be the most appropriate explanation for frequency estimation results.

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