Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The purpose of this study was to explore how recog nition memory for pictures and eye movements vary depend ing on the type of test and the nature of the "related" distractor items. Prior research suggested that manipula tion of test type and distractor similarity both influ ence recognition memory. The present study crossed test type and composition (kind of distractors) in a 2 X 2 design.

Forty-eight undergraduates viewed an input list of 58 scenic, color photographs of cityscapes and landscapes. The memory test was composed of 12 "Same Photo" items, each identical to input list photographs; 12 "Related" items, each visually similar in certain respects to input list photographs; and 12 "Lures," each unrelated to input photographs. Half of the subjects viewed, as related items, "Mates" (adjacent views to the left or right of in put photographs) and half viewed "Reversals" (left/right reorientations of input photographs).

"Resemblance" and "Discrimination" test conditions were used in this study. Under Resemblance test instruc tions, subjects were instructed to identify both Same Photo and Related items as "old," and Lures as "new." Under Discrimination test instructions, subjects were told to identify only Same Photos as "old" and Related items and Lures as "new."

Eye movements were recorded at test using a Gulf and Western Eye View Monitor, and the data were stored via computer. Subjects had up to 10 seconds to make each old/ new judgment.

Recognition accuracy analyses indicated a Test X Composition interaction. Best performance was achieved in the Resemblance/Reversal condition, while worst performance occurred in the Discrimination/Reversal condition. Eye movement parameters indicated different search strategies during recognition, e.g., analysis of the number of fixa tions showed an interaction such that, in the Discrimina tion condition all items received a similar number of fixations, but in the Resemblance condition more fixations were shown for Lures than for Same Photo items. Results indicate the importance of retrieval factors in recogni tion memory for pictures.