Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Amy H. Criss


cued recall, episodic memory, memory, memory models, recall

Subject Categories

Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Sample-recovery models are a predominant class of episodic memory models that seek to explain why sometimes the representation of an experienced event is not retrieved or retrieved incorrectly. In these models, a correct retrieval occurs if the correct target item was sampled among the alternative studied item, then recovered correctly. In cued recall, participants output the representation of a single experienced event, a target, given a presented test stimulus and some defined relationship between the stimulus and the target. This relationship depends on the kind of cued recall and can rely on either studied or pre-experimental relationships. Sample-recovery models of this task share common testable properties related to both sampling and recovery, which we do across two experiments. Experiment 1 tests the property that sampling in sample-recovery models of cued recall is one process: they combine information about test stimulus and its relationship to the target into a single value and sample in a way consistent with the Luce choice rule. We test this assumption by testing whether manipulating the strengths of these relationships generates differential influence on performance in kinds of cued recall where different relationships between test stimulus and response are probed. The pattern of data is inconsistent with one sample process but is consistent with a sampling procedure that separately samples for a cue given the stimulus and a target given a cue. Experiment 2 tests the assumption that recovery performance is independent of other studied items. We allow some cue and target words to be related to some other untested studied words. Targets with a related word on the study list were associated with more correct responses than targets without one. This suggests that recovery in some way uses the memory for the other studied items to help retrieve. We consider how various models of sample-recovery may be adapted to account for these findings, with a particular focus on the Retrieving Effectively from Memory model.


Open Access