Does incremental reinforcement learning influence recognition memory judgments? We examined this question by subtly altering the relative validity or availability of feedback in order to differentially reinforce old or new recognition judgments. Experiment 1 probabilistically and incorrectly indicated that either misses or false alarms were correct in the context of feedback that was otherwise accurate. Experiment 2 selectively withheld feedback for either misses or false alarms in the context of feedback that was otherwise present. Both manipulations caused prominent shifts of recognition memory decision criteria that remained for considerable periods even after feedback had been altogether removed. Overall, these data demonstrate that incremental reinforcement-learning mechanisms influence the degree of caution subjects exercise when evaluating explicit memories.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)