Current laboratory paradigms used to assess unconscious plagiarism consist of three tasks. First, participants generate solutions to a puzzle task with a partner (initial generation task); second, they recall their individual contribution (recall-own task); and third, they attempt to create new solutions that were not offered previously (generate-new task). An analysis of these tasks indicated that they differ in terms of the source monitoring they require. The two generative tasks require less differentiated information (e.g., familiarity) and relatively lax decision criteria. The recall-own task, however, demands more differentiated information and more extended decision criteria. In two experiments, factors known to influence source monitoring were manipulated. Consistent with the analysis, no effects were associated with the generative tasks. Recall-own plagiarisms increased when self- and other-generated solutions were difficult to distinguish (Experiment 1) and decreased when the two sources were easier to distinguish (Experiment 2).
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We wish to thank Leslie Browning, Brandon Gibb, and Anne Kovach for their dedicated help in collecting the data. Appreciation is expressed to Marty Bink, Jason Hicks, and Andy Leynes for their helpful comments on an earlier draft. This work was supported by a Sigma-Xi Grants-in-Aid.
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Landau, J.D., Marsh, R.L. Monitoring source in an unconscious plagiarism paradigm. Psychon Bull Rev 4, 265–270 (1997). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03209404
- Generation Task
- Source Memory
- Initial Generation
- Source Monitoring
- Human Partner