Recognition memory for source and occurrence: The importance of recollection

Joel R. Quamme, Christina Frederick, Neal E.A. Kroll, Andrew P. Yonelinas, Ian G. Dobbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Previous recognition memory studies indicate that when both recollection and familiarity are expected to contribute to recognition performance (e.g., discriminating studied items from nonstudied items) the dual-process and the unequal-variance signal detection models provide comparable accounts of performance. When familiarity is not expected to be useful (e.g., when items from two equally familiar sources are discriminated between), the dual-process model provides a significantly better account of performance. In the present study, source recognition was tested under conditions in which familiarity could have been used to perform a list-discrimination task; participants were required to discriminate between strong studied items, weak studied items, and new items. The dual-process model provided a better account of performance than did the unequal-variance model. Moreover, the results indicated that the unequal-variance assumption in a single-process signal detection model was not a valid substitution for recollection and that recollection was used to make recognition judgments even when assessments of familiarity were useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-907
Number of pages15
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2002


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