Guest Lecture of Akira O'Connor

Guest Lecture of Akira O'Connor

from the School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews

Date: 29 June 2011

Topic: "One of these things is not like the others." How Sesame Street informs the single-/dual-process recognition memory debate


Sesame Street teaches children to make simple classification judgements by presenting a number of similar items alongside one different item and asking them to identify the single odd item.  I will present data from a series of experiments that ask people to apply this judgement of oddity to episodic memory.  At test, participants select either an unstudied item from among two studied items or a studied item from among two unstudied items.  Results demonstrate a robust difference in performance between the two triplet types: triplets with two studied items are easiest to resolve. These observations will be compared to divergent mathematical simulations of  single- and dual-process outcomes.  The observed findings run counter to the unequal-variance signal detection model prediction, but are anticipated by a dual-process approach