Three regularities of recognition memory: the role of bias

Andrew Hilford, Laurence Maloney, Murray Glanzer, Kisok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A basic assumption of Signal Detection Theory is that decisions are made on the basis of likelihood ratios. In a preceding paper, Glanzer, Hilford, and Maloney (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 431–455, 2009) showed that the likelihood ratio assumption implies that three regularities will occur in recognition memory: (1) the Mirror Effect, (2) the Variance Effect, (3) the normalized Receiver Operating Characteristic (z-ROC) Length Effect. The paper offered formal proofs and computational demonstrations that decisions based on likelihood ratios produce the three regularities. A survey of data based on group ROCs from 36 studies validated the likelihood ratio assumption by showing that its three implied regularities are ubiquitous. The study noted, however, that bias, another basic factor in Signal Detection Theory, can obscure the Mirror Effect. In this paper we examine how bias affects the regularities at the theoretical level. The theoretical analysis shows: (1) how bias obscures the Mirror Effect, not the other two regularities, and (2) four ways to counter that obscuring. We then report the results of five experiments that support the theoretical analysis. The analyses and the experimental results also demonstrate: (1) that the three regularities govern individual, as well as group, performance, (2) alternative explanations of the regularities are ruled out, and (3) that Signal Detection Theory, correctly applied, gives a simple and unified explanation of recognition memory data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1646-1664
Number of pages19
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Fingerprint

ROC Curve
Psychological Signal Detection
Recognition (Psychology)
Regularity
Recognition Memory
Likelihood Ratio
Mirror Effect
Signal Detection Theory
Receiver Operating Characteristic
Surveys and Questionnaires
Length
Experiment
Computational

Keywords

  • Bias
  • Likelihood ratio
  • Recognition memory
  • Signal detection theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Three regularities of recognition memory : the role of bias. / Hilford, Andrew; Maloney, Laurence; Glanzer, Murray; Kim, Kisok.

In: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Vol. 22, No. 6, 01.12.2015, p. 1646-1664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hilford, Andrew ; Maloney, Laurence ; Glanzer, Murray ; Kim, Kisok. / Three regularities of recognition memory : the role of bias. In: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. 2015 ; Vol. 22, No. 6. pp. 1646-1664.
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