Dual-process theory, which holds that recognition decisions can be based on recollection or familiarity, has long seemed incompatible with signal detection theory, which holds that recognition decisions are based on a singular, continuous memory-strength variable. Formal dual-process models typically regard familiarity as a continuous process (i.e., familiarity comes in degrees), but they construe recollection as a categorical process (i.e., recollection either occurs or does not occur). A continuous process is characterized by a graded relationship between confidence and accuracy, whereas a categorical process is characterized by a binary relationship such that high confidence is associated with high accuracy but all lower degrees of confidence are associated with chance accuracy. Using a source-memory procedure, we found that the relationship between confidence and source-recollection accuracy was graded. Because recollection, like familiarity, is a continuous process, dual-process theory is more compatible with signal detection theory than previously thought.
- Cognitive Science
- Psychological Theory
- ROC Curve
- Recognition (Psychology)
- Signal Detection, Psychological