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Psychol Bull. 2007 Sep;133(5):800-32.

Receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) in recognition memory: a review.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis is being used increasingly to examine the memory processes underlying recognition memory. The authors discuss the methodological issues involved in conducting and analyzing ROC results, describe the various models that have been developed to account for these results, review the behavioral empirical literature, and assess the models in light of those results. The empirical literature includes studies of item recognition, relational recognition (e.g., source and associative tests), as well as exclusion and remember-know tasks. Nine empirical regularities are described, and a number of unresolved empirical issues are identified. The results indicate that several common classes of recognition models, such as pure threshold and pure signal detection models, are inadequate to account for recognition memory, whereas several hybrid models that incorporate a signal detection-based process and a threshold recollection or attention process are in better agreement with the results. The results indicate that there are at least 2 functionally distinct component/processes underlying recognition memory. In addition, the ROC results have various implications for how recognition memory performance should be measured.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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