Source discrimination, item detection, and multinomial models of source monitoring

  • Bayen U
  • Murnane K
  • Erdfelder E
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Source monitoring refers to the discrimination of the origin of information. Multinomial models of source monitoring (W. H. Batchelder & D. M. Riefer, 1990) are theories of the decision processes involved in source monitoring that provide separate parameters for source discrimination, item detection, and response biases. Three multinomial models of source monitoring based on different models of decision in a simple detection paradigm (one-high-threshold, low-threshold, and two-high-threshold models) were subjected to empirical tests. With a 3 (distractor similarity) x 3 (source similarity) factorial design, the effect of difficulty of item detection and source discrimina-tion on corresponding model parameters was examined. Only the source-monitoring model that is based on a two-high-threshold model of item recognition provides an accurate analysis of the data. Consequences for the use of multinomial models in the study of source monitoring are discussed. Source monitoring refers to the discrimination of the origin of information. In the typical source-monitoring task, items of information are presented from two or more sources and the correct mapping between source and item of information must be remembered at a later time. Trying to remember which journal this article appeared in several months from now is an example. Over the last 15 years, experimental paradigms using source-monitoring tasks have gained increasing popularity in many fields of psychology including basic and applied memory research, psycholinguistics, social psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, and neuropsychology. Source-monitoring paradigms have been used to address questions regarding eyewitness testimony

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  • Ute J. Bayen

  • Kevin Murnane

  • Edgar Erdfelder

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