On the dynamic nature of response criterion in recognition memory: Effects of base rate, awareness, and feedback.
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The authors examined whether participants can shift their criterion for recognition decisions in response to the probability that an item was previously studied. Participants in 3 experiments were given recognition tests in which the probability that an item was studied was correlated with its location during the test. Results from all 3 experiments indicated that participants' response criteria were sensitive to the probability that an item was previously studied and that shifts in criterion were robust. In addition, awareness of the bases for criterion shifts and feedback on performance were key factors contributing to the observed shifts in decision criteria. These data suggest that decision processes can operate in a dynamic fashion, shifting from item to item.
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