Tying together posts like levels of processing, semantic vs episodic memory, signal detection and forgetting, the remember/know paradigm has been used to make distinctions between events that we recollect versus those that seem familiar. Events that seem familiar generally do not include details or specific experiences related to the event. Familiarity is associated with semantic memory because it not associated with the initial circumstance under which the knowledge was acquired. Events that are recollected, however, are associated with specific experiences. Recollected events are associated with episodic memory because it includes details about the initial circumstance in which the knowledge was acquired and an awareness the event was experienced in the past.

Remember/know paradigms distinguish between familiar and recollected events by presenting participants with stimuli they have previously encountered (e.g., individual words from a previously seen list of words), they are asked to give a “remember” response if the stimulus seems familiar and they remember specifically seeing that stimulus in the past or to give a “know” response if the stimulus seems familiar but they do not  remember the specific instance of seeing that stimulus in the past (I always thought this set up seemed a bit counter intuitive, by the way, but who am I).

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