Academic Scholarship

Metacognitive Influences in Recognition Memory: Pictorial Encoding Reduces Conjunction Errors

Memory and Cognition, 35, 1067-1073., October 2007

Photo Needed Marianne E. Lloyd, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology

Two experiments are presented that explore the role of the distinctiveness heuristic (e.g., Schacter, Israel, Racine, 1999) on rates of conjunction errors as a function of encoding condition. The results of Experiment 1 demonstrate a reliable reduction of conjunction errors when participants study pictures relative to both reading words aloud and silently. Experiment 2 demonstrates that the nature of the pictures presented during the study phase is important for reducing conjunction errors. Collectively, the experiments demonstrate that participants can use the distinctiveness heuristic in addition to recall-to-reject strategies to avoid conjunction errors. These findings add to a growing body of literature that suggests that participants are able to use expectations for memory to guide their recognition decisions.


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