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Gender Differences in Recognition Memory

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dc.contributor.author Heinz, Daniel
dc.date.accessioned 2013-12-17T15:37:25Z
dc.date.available 2013-12-17T15:37:25Z
dc.date.issued 2001
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/12439
dc.description.abstract A lot of research has investigated gender differences in cognition. At least part of this professional curiosity is fueled by interest in the general public. There is some deeply held belief that important differences exist between men and women. Who in modem American culture does not know that "boys are better than girls at math" and "girls are better than boys with verbal skills"? However, as Caplan and Caplan (1997) point out, these differences are smaller and more inconsistent than we might tend to think. Furthermore, caution is needed when drawing implications from experimentally significant differences since they can have substantial consequences for public policy. In the attempt to understand gender differences, it is necessary to understand the reasons behind them. In this way, policies can be written to reduce these differences rather than exacerbate them. It is with this thought in mind that the current study aims to understand gender differences in memory. Gender differences favoring women have been found in episodic memory (Herlitz, Nilsson and Backman, 1997), recall (McGuinness, Olson and Chapman, 1990), and recognition memory (McKelvie, 1981). The present study focuses only on recognition memory and has three main purposes. First, it aims to test reliability of gender differences in recognition memory. Second, the study proposes to examine several current theories that attempt to explain the results that have been found to date. Finally, response time data will be recorded in hopes of shedding more light on the matter. Ratcliff's diffusion model (Ratcliff, 1978, 1981, 1985, 1988; as cited in Ratcliff, Thapar, and McKoon, 2001) consists of several components that are used to explain response patterns. Response times and accuracy scores are both necessary to attempt fitting the data to this model. If there is a good fit, then it should be possible to see if males and females vary on specific components. For example, if females are more accurate than males, it may be due to being more conservative in the judgments and taking more time to make a decision. In other words, the advantage may be a difference in strategy as opposed to the actual memorization of the stimuli. Should the data fit well, the diffusion model should be able to use response times and accuracy measures to decide between alternative explanations.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcsh Face perception -- Sex differences
dc.title Gender Differences in Recognition Memory
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only


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