Measures

Explicit memory is usually measured with tests of recognition or recall. Recognition refers to the case in which the memory test gives an answer and the person must decide whether or not it is correct (called free choice recognition or yes/no recognition) or choose from among possible alternatives (forced choice recognition). For example, imagine that subjects in an experiment were given a list of 100 words to remember. They might then receive a free choice recognition test in which 50 of these words are presented, mixed with 50 new words (the ratio need not be 50: 50). The job of the participant is to determine for each word whether it had been presented in the study phase. Thus, they give a yes or no answer to each word. This test is similar to true/false tests often given in school. An alternative test would be forced choice recognition, in which people would be given a set of words, with each set containing at least 1 studied word and at least 1 nonstudied word. The subject's task would be to decide which of the words had been studied. This approach is analogous to what are called multiple-choice tests in educational settings.

Recall differs from recognition in that the answer is not presented to the person. There are several types of recall as well. In free recall and serial recall, no cues are given; people are simply told to think back to the study phase (in our example here, the word list) and write down (or say) everything they remember. Free recall differs from serial recall in that order of recall does not matter in free recall; in serial recall, however, people are instructed to produce the studied items in the same order in which they were previously experienced. On a cued recall test, subjects are given cues to help them remember the list. For example, if the studied list contained the words "zebra," "lion," and "dog," they might be given the cue "animals" to help guide their recall. Perhaps they would be given the first few letters of the words (e.g., "ze_'') to help them remember items in the list.

Autism

Autism

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