We review and meta-analyze how distinctive encoding alters encoding and retrieval processes and, thus, affects correct and false recognition in the Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Reductions in false recognition following distinctive encoding (e.g., generation), relative to a nondistinctive read-only control condition, reflected both impoverished relational encoding and use of a retrieval-based distinctiveness heuristic. Additional analyses evaluated the costs and benefits of distinctive encoding in within-subjects designs relative to between-group designs. Correct recognition was design independent, but in a within design, distinctive encoding was less effective at reducing false recognition for distinctively encoded lists but more effective for nondistinctively encoded lists. Thus, distinctive encoding is not entirely “cost free” in a within design. In addition to delineating the conditions that modulate the effects of distinctive encoding on recognition accuracy, we discuss the utility of using signal detection indices of memory information and memory monitoring at test to separate encoding and retrieval processes.
- DRM paradigm