Different Confidence–accuracy Relationships For Feature-based And Familiarity-based Memories
Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, And Cognition
Participants studied naturalistic pictures presented for varying brief durations and then received a recognition test on which they indicated whether each picture was old or new and rated their confidence. In 1 experiment they indicated whether each “old”/“new” response was based on memory for a specific feature in the picture or instead on the picture's general familiarity; in another experiment, we defined pictures that tended to elicit feature versus familiarity responses. Thus, feature/familiarity was a dependent variable in 1 experiment and an independent variable in the other. In both experiments feature-based responses were more accurate than those that were familiarity based, and confidence and accuracy increased with duration for both response types. However, when confidence was controlled for, mean accuracy was higher for familiarity-based than for feature-based responses. The theoretical implication is that confidence and accuracy arise from different underlying information. The applied implication is that confidence differences should not be taken as implying accuracy differences when the phenomenal basis of the memory reports differ.
Reinitz, Mark Tippens, William J. Peria, Julie Anne Séguin, and Geoffrey R. Loftus. 2011. "Different confidence–accuracy relationships for feature-based and familiarity-based memories." Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, And Cognition 37(2): 507-515.