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Conscious and unconscious discriminations between true and false memories

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2010.10.022
  • Recognition Memory
  • Drm Paradigm
  • False Memory
  • Signal Detection Theory
  • Unconscious Discrimination
  • Criterion And Sensitivity
  • Confidence Rating
  • Remember-Know Judgment


Abstract When subjects give higher confidence or memory ratings to a test word in a recognition test, do they simply raise their criterion without making better discrimination, or do they raise both criterion and true discrimination between the studied words (SW) and the lures? Given that previous studies found subjects’ false alarm responses to lures slower than to SW, and recognition latency inversely correlated with the confidence rating, can the latency difference between the lures and SW be accounted for by confidence or memory ratings? The present results showed that when subjects gave higher confidence or memory ratings, both their bias and sensitivity were raised, indicating that they could consciously distinguish the lures from the SW. However, a latency difference between true and false recognitions persisted after confidence and memory ratings were held constant, suggesting an unconscious source of discrimination between the two types of memory.

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