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The revelation effect: A meta-analytic test of hypotheses

The revelation effect: A meta-analytic test of hypotheses

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1718-1741

“Judgments can depend on the activity directly preceding them. An example is the revelation effect whereby participants are more likely to claim that a stimulus is familiar after a preceding task, such as solving an anagram, than without a preceding task. We test conflicting predictions of four revelation-effect hypotheses in a meta-analysis of 26 years of revelation-effect research. The hypotheses’ predictions refer to three subject areas: (1) the basis of judgments that are subject to the revelation effect (recollection vs. familiarity vs. fluency), (2) the degree of similarity between the task and test item, and (3) the difficulty of the preceding task. We use a hierarchical multivariate meta-analysis to account for dependent effect sizes and variance in experimental procedures. We test the revelation-effect hypotheses with a model selection procedure, where each model corresponds to a prediction of a revelation-effect hypothesis. We further quantify the amount of evidence for one model compared to another with Bayes factors. The results of this analysis suggest that none of the extant revelation-effect hypotheses can fully account for the data. The general vagueness of revelation-effect hypotheses and the scarcity of data were the major limiting factors in our analyses, emphasizing the need for formalized theories and further research into the puzzling revelation effect.”

Written by: André Aßfalg, Daniel M. Bernstein, William Hockley
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