The present study aimed at testing theoretical predictions of the fuzzy-trace theory about true and false recognition. The effects of semantic relatedness and study opportunity on true and false recognition of words from Deese, Roediger, McDermott lists (J. Deese, 1959; D. R. Read, 1996; H. L. Roediger & K. B. McDermott, 1995) were evaluated in 7- to 12-year-old children (N = 151). Instead of a traditional analysis of variance, the authors used a relatively novel statistical analysis technique, latent class factor analysis, to test the hypotheses pertaining to the effect of semantic relatedness and study opportunity on children's true and false recognition given their low or high verbatim-trace and gist-trace level. The results showed that variation in true recognition of target words from semantically related and unrelated word lists that were either studied once or repeated could be explained well by variation in verbatim-trace and gist-trace level. Variation in false recognition of semantically related distractors also could be explained by variation in gist-trace level, but the recollection-rejection hypothesis was not confirmed. The variable age was positively but weakly related to gist-trace level, but no significant relationship was found between age and verbatim-trace level.

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Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Department of Psychology

Bouwmeester, S., & Verkoeijen, P. (2010). Latent Variable Modeling of Cognitive Processes in True and False Recognition of Words: A Developmental Perspective. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139(2), 365–381. doi:10.1037/a0019301