Likelihood ratio decisions in memory: Three implied regularities

Murray Glanzer, Andrew Hilford, Laurence T. Maloney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We analyze four general signal detection models for recognition memory that differ in their distributional assumptions. Our analyses show that a basic assumption of signal detection theory, the likelihood ratio decision axis, implies three regularities in recognition memory: (1) the mirror effect, (2) the variance effect, and (3) the z-ROC length effect. For each model, we present the equations that produce the three regularities and show, in computed examples, how they do so. We then show that the regularities appear in data from a range of recognition studies. The analyses and data in our study support the following generalization: Individuals make efficient recognition decisions on the basis of likelihood ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-455
Number of pages25
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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