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

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

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

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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?

Methods

- 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.

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Results

- 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.

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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!