Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 543–548 | Cite as

The dud-alternative effect in memory for associations: Putting confidence into local context

  • Maciej Hanczakowski
  • Katarzyna Zawadzka
  • Philip A. Higham
Brief Report


When participants are asked to provide confidence judgments for each provided alternative in a multiple-choice memory task, such judgments are inflated if the assessed alternatives are accompanied by an implausible (dud) alternative. This finding, termed the dud-alternative effect, has been recently documented in a memory setting with a lineup procedure (Charman, Wells, & Joy, Law & Human Behavior 35:479–500 2011). In the present study, we developed a novel paradigm to investigate the dud-alternative effect in memory. The paradigm utilizes a multiple-choice associative recognition task in which dud alternatives can be rejected on the basis of their unfamiliarity. In two experiments, we demonstrated a reliable dud-alternative effect with our novel procedure. The results demonstrated that the dud-alternative effect in episodic memory is not limited to tasks based on perceptual factors, but is a general phenomenon concerning confidence judgments.


Duds Confidence Recognition Metacognition 


Author Note

The authors thank Dylan Jones for helpful comments while developing this project.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maciej Hanczakowski
    • 1
  • Katarzyna Zawadzka
    • 2
  • Philip A. Higham
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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