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Conscious Cogn. 2012 Dec;21(4):1681-94. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

An analysis of the determinants of the feeling of knowing.

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Tufts University, United States.


Research has demonstrated that feeling-of-knowing (FOK) judgments are affected by the amount of accessible information related to an inaccessible target. Further, studies have demonstrated that, in some situations, FOK judgment magnitude is not only related to the amount (quantity) of accessed features, but also the correctness of those features (Thomas, Bulevich, & Dubois, 2011). The present study examined the conditions under which the correctness of features would influence FOK judgment magnitude. We hypothesized that accuracy of retrieved features would influence FOK judgments, but only in situations where semantically meaningful information was accessible. In three experiments, we manipulated accessibility of semantic information. In all experiments, the quantity, or amount of retrieved partial information had a greater impact on FOK judgments than the accuracy of that information. However, in situations where semantic information was accessible, accuracy of retrieved semantic features also influenced FOK judgment magnitude, and later recognition.

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