Assumption Violations in Forced-Choice Recognition Judgments: Implications from the Area Theorem

AbstractTrials in a two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) recognition memory task require individuals to choose the stimulus in a pair that they deem as having been previously studied. Because of the relative nature of the judgments made, 2AFC trials are typically considered to be free from response biases concerning the old/new status of stimuli. Recent studies have suggested that this assumption is incorrect, and individuals often resort to single-stimulus old-new (ON) judgments instead. The present study tests this claim by joint modeling 2AFC and ON judgments using extended SDT models that include the possibility of ON contamination. Results show that the relative-judgment assumption provides an excellent account of the data, providing no support for the notion of ON contamination.

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