Similarity-guided depth of retrieval: Constraining at the front end.
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Lee Brooks has done important work to show that categorization often reflects reliance on specific instances rather than on an abstract representation. His work on the advantages of using a diagnostic hypothesis to search medical stimuli has demonstrated how constraining what one looks for influences clinical reasoning. Similarly, cognitive control can be accomplished by constraining memory retrieval in ways that influence interpretation of a memory probe. Here, we report two experiments in which the similarity of study items constrained how test items were interrogated for an immediate memory test and thereby produced differences in the depth of retrieval. A novel procedure that tests foil memory was used to diagnose differences in similarity-guided retrieval depth.
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