Conscious and Unconscious Retrieval in Picture Recognition: A Framework for Exploring Gender Differences

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The authors explored gender differences by examining 2 distinct memory processes involved in recognizing pictures that were scenes captured from videotapes. For Study 1, the authors used a process dissociation procedure (L. J. Anooshian & P. S. Seibert, 1995; L. L. Jacoby, 1991) to obtain separate estimates of the contributions of recollection (conscious retrieval) and sense of familiarity (unconscious retrieval) in recognizing scenes along previously viewed routes of travel. Women obtained higher familiarity scores than did men, whereas no gender difference emerged for conscious recollection. In Study 2, the authors tested both preschool children and adults and found results similar to those in Study 1 for a task with pictures captured from children's cartoons, regardless of age. The results from these studies illustrated the need for greater attention to diverse memory processes when investigating individual differences, including gender differences, in diverse task domains.