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Recognition memory and awareness: A high‐frequency advantage in the accuracy of knowing

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The well-established advantage of low-frequency words over high-frequency words in recognition memory has been found to occur in remembering and not knowing. Two experiments employed remember and know judgements, and divided attention to investigate the possibility of an effect of word frequency on know responses given appropriate study conditions. With undivided attention at study, the usual low-frequency advantage in the accuracy of remember responses, but no effect on know responses, was obtained. Under a demanding divided attention task at encoding, a high-frequency advantage in the accuracy of know responses was obtained. The results are discussed in relation to theories of knowing, particularly those incorporating perceptual and conceptual fluency.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sussex, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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