Factors that influence search termination decisions in free recall: An examination of response type and confidence

Nash Unsworth, Gene A. Brewer, Gregory J. Spillers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In three experiments search termination decisions were examined as a function of response type (correct vs. incorrect) and confidence. It was found that the time between the last retrieved item and the decision to terminate search (exit latency) was related to the type of response and confidence in the last item retrieved. Participants were willing to search longer when the last retrieved item was a correct item vs. an incorrect item and when the confidence was high in the last retrieved item. It was also found that the number of errors retrieved during the recall period was related to search termination decisions such that the more errors retrieved, the more likely participants were to terminate the search. Finally, it was found that knowledge of overall search set size influenced the time needed to search for items, but did not influence search termination decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalActa psychologica
Volume138
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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