Retrieval constraints on the front end create differences in recollection on a subsequent test

Richard L. Marsh, J. Thadeus Meeks, Gabriel I. Cook, Arlo Clark-Foos, Jason L. Hicks, Gene A. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Four experiments were conducted to investigate how the cognitive control of memory retrieval selects particular qualitative characteristics as a consequence of instantiating a retrieval mode for recognition memory. Adapting the memory for foils paradigm from Jacoby, Shimizu, Daniels, and Rhodes (Jacoby, L. L., Shimizu, Y., Daniels, K. A., & Rhodes, M. G. (2005a). Modes of cognitive control in recognition and source memory: Depth of retrieval. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 852-857), we demonstrate that inspecting distractors under different retrieval modes leaves more versus less recollective details in memory. Participants also reported using different rejection strategies under different retrieval modes. The result that retrieval modes are based on selecting qualitative characteristics of the study phase to aid recognition memory was demonstrated by showing that participants cannot establish unique retrieval modes based solely on trace strength or relative judgments of strength. Whether early selection versus late correction criteria will be applied during a memory test depends on the particular retrieval mode established by the characteristics of the recognition memory test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-479
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Familiarity
  • Memory
  • Recognition memory
  • Recollection
  • Retrieval modes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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