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Eye movements reveal memory processes during similarity- and rule-based decision making


Scholz, Agnes; von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg (2015). Eye movements reveal memory processes during similarity- and rule-based decision making. Cognition, 136:228-246.

Abstract

Recent research suggests that when people retrieve information from memory they tend to fixate on the location where the information had appeared during encoding. We used this phenomenon to investigate if different information is activated in memory when people use a rule- versus a similarity-based decision strategy. In two studies, participants first memorized multiple pieces of information about various job candidates (exemplars). In subsequent test trials they judged the suitability of new candidates that varied in their similarity to the previously learned exemplars. Results show that when using similarity, but not when using a rule, participants fixated longer on the previous location of exemplars that resembled the new candidates than on the location of dissimilar exemplars. This suggests that people using similarity retrieve previously learned exemplars, whereas people using a rule do not. The study illustrates that eye movements can provide new insights into the memory processes underlying decision making.

Abstract

Recent research suggests that when people retrieve information from memory they tend to fixate on the location where the information had appeared during encoding. We used this phenomenon to investigate if different information is activated in memory when people use a rule- versus a similarity-based decision strategy. In two studies, participants first memorized multiple pieces of information about various job candidates (exemplars). In subsequent test trials they judged the suitability of new candidates that varied in their similarity to the previously learned exemplars. Results show that when using similarity, but not when using a rule, participants fixated longer on the previous location of exemplars that resembled the new candidates than on the location of dissimilar exemplars. This suggests that people using similarity retrieve previously learned exemplars, whereas people using a rule do not. The study illustrates that eye movements can provide new insights into the memory processes underlying decision making.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:March 2015
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 10:08
Last Modified:13 Jun 2018 15:33
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0010-0277
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2014.11.019
PubMed ID:25498749

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