Modeling the Effects of Repetitions, Similarity, and normative word frequency on judgments of frequency and recognition memory

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old-new recognition, frequency judgments, repetition, similarity, normative word frequency, memory representations, registration without learning, target discrimination

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Judgments of frequency for targets (old items) and foils (similar; dissimilar) steadily increase as the number of times a target is studied increases, but discrimination of targets from similar foils does not steadily improve, a phenomenon termed registration without learning (D. L. Hintzman & T. Curran, 1995; D. L. Hintzman, T. Curran, & B. Oppy, 1992). The present experiment explores this phenomenon with words of differing normative word frequency. The retrieving-effectively-from-memory model (REM; R. M. Shifrrin & M. Steyvers, 1997, 1998) predicts that low-frequency words will be better recognized than high-frequency words because low-frequency words have more distinctive memory representations. A corollary of this assumption predicts that the typical recognition word-frequency effect will be disrupted when similar foils are tested. These predictions were confirmed, but to fit both the recognition and the judgment-of-frequency data, the authors used a "dual-process" extension of the REM model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v. 30, issue 2, p. 319-331