Experiences of remembering, knowing, and guessing

Consciousness and Cognition 7 (1):1-26 (1998)
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This article presents and discusses transcripts of some 270 explanations subjects provided subsequently for recognition memory decisions that had been associated with remember, know, or guess responses at the time the recognition decisions were made. Only transcripts for remember responses included reports of recollective experiences, which seemed mostly to reflect either effortful elaborative encoding or involuntary reminding at study, especially in relation to the self. Transcripts for know responses included claims of just knowing, and of feelings of familiarity. These transcripts indicated that subjects were often quite confident of the accuracy of their decisions, compared with those for guess responses. Transcripts for decisions associated with guess responses also expressed feelings of familiarity but additionally revealed various strategies and inferences that did not directly reflect memory for studied items. The article concludes with a historical and theoretical overview of some interpretations of the states of awareness measured by these responses



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