[ONLINE] Decision-Making in a Source Memory Task


By collecting response time and accuracy data from a memory task described in the design, this study aims to distinguish between a threshold or a continuous model of how people remember the context of memories (source memory).

Research Questions / Hypotheses

Does source memory fail completely past a threshold, under which people guess at random, or is memory strength continuous?


5 participants completed all sessions and submitted complete datasets. 10 participants completed one or two sessions but did not finish all three sessions, and were excluded.


In one trial, participants were be asked to remember a display consisting of a word positioned along a circle on a screen. Trials occurred in blocks of 10 stimuli. After a two-digit arithmetic distractor task with a duration of 30 seconds, participants were cued with words that either occurred in the study list or not, and asked to indicate if the words was studied in the preceding study phase, and if so, where on the circle that word was presented using a computer mouse. The full study consisted of three sessions of 12 blocks.


The response accuracy and response time data will be modelled with two different computational models that reflect thresholded and continuous hypotheses about the underlying memory architecture. The fits of these models will be compared to find evidence in support of one view or the other.


The findings of our model comparison will contribute to the debate in the source memory literature about the nature of retrieval from memory. This work will likely be presented in future conferences, and when written up, will form a part of or an entire journal article.