Memory & Cognition

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 449–462 | Cite as

Retrieval dynamics in recognition and list discrimination: Further evidence of separate processes of familiarity and recall

  • Douglas L. Hintzman
  • David A. Caulton
  • Daniel J. Levitin


Two experiments tested the hypothesis that the time course of retrieval from memory is different for familiarity and recall. The response-signal method was used to compare memory retrieval dynamics in yes-no recognition memory, as a measure of familiarity, with those of list discrimination, as a measure of contextual recall. Responses were always made with regard to membership in two previous study lists. In Experiment 1 an exclusion task requiring positive responses to words from one list and negative responses to new words and words from the nontarget list was used. In Experiment 2, recognition and list discrimination were separate tasks. Retrieval curves from both experiments were consistent, showing that the minimal retrieval time for recognition was about 100 msec faster than that for list discrimination. Repetition affected asymptotic performance but had no reliable effects on retrieval dynamics in either the recognition or the list-discrimination task.


Journal ofExperimental Psychology Study List Test Word Test List Target List 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas L. Hintzman
    • 1
  • David A. Caulton
    • 1
  • Daniel J. Levitin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OregonEugene

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