CONFIDENCE IN RECALL IN PAIRED-ASSOCIATE LEARNING EXPERIMENTS
ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS DIV L G HANSCOM FIELD MA DECISION SCIENCES LAB
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The problem of estimating the accuracy of ones own recollections was investigated in four experiments under a variety of conditions. Subjects were shown a series of paired words then they were shown the first member of the pairs and asked to recall the second member of each. Along with each attempt at recall the subjects were asked to give a confidence rating on a scale from 1 to 5. In all, 180 subjects were tested for a total 11,200 trials. The confidence results are highly significant, indicating that subjects were able to discriminate their correct recollections from mere guesses. Comparisons are presented showing how realism of confidence varies over the main experimental treatments variations in meaningfulness of material, one versus two exposures to paired-associate lists, and presence of varying amounts of irrelevant material in the acquisition lists.