Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

David E. Copeland

Second Committee Member

Mark H. Ashcraft

Third Committee Member

Joel S. Snyder

Fourth Committee Member

Colleen M. Parks

Fifth Committee Member

CarolAnne M. Kardash

Number of Pages



Taking a test can lead to enhanced long-term retention compared to not practicing the information or simply restudying, a finding known as the testing effect (Roediger, Agarwal, Kang, & Marsh, 2010). The current study examined whether the dual-process signal detection (DPSD) model (Yonelinas, 1994) offers an approach for investigating the testing effect across two experiments. Experiment 1 investigated if the DPSD model could be used to examine the testing effect, and it also examined a factor (i.e., the number of practice sessions) that influences the magnitude of the testing effect. Experiment 2 investigated whether making the final test dependent on recollection would influence the magnitude of the testing effect and the parameter estimates of recollection and familiarity. The results of these experiments demonstrated that when practice testing enhanced later memory, it also influenced the processes underlying the recognition memory judgments in a manner consistent with the DPSD model. Practice testing (in comparison to restudying) increased familiarity in both experiments and increased both familiarity and recollection when three practice tests were used. However, when comparing old versus similar lure items on the recollection-dependent final test format, no significant differences between practice testing and restudying were found. Overall, this study demonstrated that the DPSD model can be used to examine the testing effect. The DPSD model may provide a useful approach for future research investigating the testing effect in terms of the conditions under which the effect occurs, factors that influence the effect, and theoretical explanations for the effect.


Dual-process signal detection model; Dual-process theory; Examinations; Familiarity and recollection; Learning; Psychology of; Recognition memory; Recognition (Psychology); Recollection (Psychology); Retrieval practice; Testing effect


Cognitive Psychology | Educational Psychology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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