The effects of the initial familiarity and source recollection on confidence ratings of recognition memory

Madoka Yano, Yuji Itoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent studies have shown the importance of metamemory functions such as confidence ratings in memory performance. However, the question of how people evaluate the accuracy of their own memory remains unresolved. Contrary to the previous studies that indicated the correlation between accuracy and confidence, we examined the influence of subjective source recollection on confidence levels of recognition judgments through two experiments. Participants were first requested to learn two word-lists presented in male and female voices respectively, and to make the yes-no recognition and source judgments - "male", "female" or "don't know". The results showed that participants had higher confidence on recognition judgments when they made source attribution than when they chose "don't know" (Experiment 1), and that participants found the recognition items more familiar when they later made source attribution irrespective of its correctness (Experiment 2). These findings suggest that the high initial familiarity to the recognition items induces the subjective experience of recollection, and that such recollective experience leads to high confidence on recognition memory regardless of the accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalShinrigaku Kenkyu
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct



  • Confidence
  • Familiarity
  • Recognition
  • Recollection
  • Source monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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