Linking Process and Measurement Models of Recognition-Based Decisions
When making inferences about pairs of objects, one of which is recognized and the other is not, the recognition heuristic states that participants choose the recognized object in a noncompensatory way without considering any further knowledge. In contrast, information-integration theories such as parallel constraint satisfaction (PCS) assume that recognition is merely one of many cues that is integrated with further knowledge in a compensatory way. To test both process models against each other without manipulating recognition or further knowledge, we include response times into the r-model, a popular multinomial processing tree model for memory-based decisions. Essentially, this response-time-extended r-model allows to test a crucial prediction of PCS, namely, that the integration of recognition-congruent knowledge leads to faster decisions compared to the consideration of recognition only—even though more information is processed. In contrast, decisions due to recognition-heuristic use are predicted to be faster than decisions affected by any further knowledge. Using the classical German-cities example, simulations show that the novel measurement model discriminates between both process models based on choices, decision times, and recognition judgments only. In a reanalysis of 29 data sets including more than 400,000 individual trials, noncompensatory choices of the recognized option were estimated to be slower than choices due to recognition-congruent knowledge. This corroborates the parallel information-integration account of memory-based decisions, according to which decisions become faster when the coherence of the available information increases.