Memory & Cognition

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 8–20

The mirror effect in recognition memory

  • Murray Glanzer
  • John K. Adams

DOI: 10.3758/BF03198438

Cite this article as:
Glanzer, M. & Adams, J.K. Memory & Cognition (1985) 13: 8. doi:10.3758/BF03198438


The mirror effect in recognition memory refers to the fact that, with several different classes of stimuli, performance on new items from each class mirrors (is correlated with) performance on the corresponding classes of old items. Classes of stimuli that are accurately recognized as old when old are also accurately recognized as new when new; those that are poorly recognized as old when old are also poorly recognized as new when new. The statement above is shown not to be a tautology. A survey demonstrates that the effect holds for several types of variables (ways to classify stimuli)—word frequency, concreteness, meaningfulness, and others. The survey includes a total of 80 findings. The theoretical implications of the effect are considered.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray Glanzer
    • 1
  • John K. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew York UniversityNew York