Task effects determine whether recognition memory is mediated discretely or continuously

  • Ryan M. McAdooEmail author
  • Kylie N. Key
  • Scott D. Gronlund


How recognition memory is mediated has been of interest to researchers for decades. But the apparent consensus implicating continuous mediation has been challenged. McAdoo, Key, and Gronlund (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition,2018. Advanced online publication) demonstrated that recognition memory can be mediated by either discrete or continuous evidence, depending on target-filler similarity. The present paper expands on this research by showing that different recognition tasks also can be mediated by different evidence. Specifically, recognition memory was mediated by continuous evidence in a ranking task, but by discrete evidence in a confidence-rating task. We posit that participants utilize a control process that induces a reliance on discrete or continuous evidence as a function of efficiency (Malmberg, 2008) to suit the demands of the task.


Recognition memory Control process Continuous. Discrete 



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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan M. McAdoo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kylie N. Key
    • 1
  • Scott D. Gronlund
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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