"To shift or not to shift: Can feedback alter criterion shifting?"

Jason Dong
Michael B. Miller, PhD
University of California, Santa Barbara

In my final year at UCSB, I had the opportunity to complete a psychology honors thesis. I investigated the role of decision-making in recognition memory because of its widespread implications in eyewitness testimony, military procedure, and those suffering from cognitive deficits.

Duration of Project

September 2019 - June 2020

Research Questions

- Can trial-by-trial feedback improve people's decision-making strategies in recognition memory tests?

- Can shifting one's decision criteria be "learned" and applied to other cognitive domains?


- Recognition memory computer tasks designed to test participants if they remember certain faces previously seen.

- Visual perception computer task designed to test participants on if a person was present in a previously seen picture or not.

- Questionnaires that asked for participants' motivation, memory strategies, and decision-making strategies.

eyewitness testimony.png

- Feedback seemed to help, particularly for those who didn’t shift as much to begin with, yet there seemed to be a ceiling effect to how much feedback could actually help. 

- The feedback appeared to transfer well to another session of the same task, but was less effective for a different task domain.

- Individual differences suggest that some people do adapt criteria well to the novel visual detection task whereas others do not.

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

If you would like to dig in to all the nitty-gritty details of my thesis and read it in full, I have attached it here! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!