Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2014

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Recognition judgments are often made in the context of environmental information, such as instructions or payout regimens that observers have been shown to use in order to adaptively bias their memory judgments. These adaptive biases are usually characterized as a strategic, controlled process that observers adopt intentionally, and this is formalized in signal detection theory wherein strategic criterion placement is assumed fully independent of recognition evidence signals. However, recent pilot research in our laboratory suggests that the ability to regulate recognition decision biases in the context of environmental cues may not be fully controlled by observers suggesting an automatic or unintentional cue influence operating during recognition judgment. The current set of experiments examined the degree to which observers could disregard environmental cues during their recognition decisions and is the first systematic study of the ability of observers to disregard non-mnemonic cues during recognition decisions. As a whole, they suggest that observers cannot fully isolate their own memorial processes from cue-induced expectations or confirmations, which in turn suggests there is a lower limit to the degree to which decision biases are under strategic control.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Ian G Dobbins

Committee Members

David A Balota, Julie M Bugg, Henry L Roediger, Carl F Craver


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Psychology Commons