Aaron S. Benjamin

Aaron S. Benjamin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

H-index: 50

North America-United States

About Aaron S. Benjamin

Aaron S. Benjamin, With an exceptional h-index of 50 and a recent h-index of 32 (since 2020), a distinguished researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializes in the field of human learning, human memory, metamemory, decision-making.

His recent articles reflect a diverse array of research interests and contributions to the field:

Judgments of learning reflect the encoding of contexts, not items: evidence from a test of recognition exclusion

Improving contact tracing with directed recall.

Metamnemonic predictions of lineup identification

Using the internet “raises the bar” for precision in self‐produced question answering

Models of unforced choice

Incorporating Functional Response Time Effects into a Signal Detection Theory Model

MEMCONS: How Contemporaneous Note‐Taking Shapes Memory for Conversation

Strategic regulation of memory in dsyphoria: a quantity-accuracy profile analysis

Aaron S. Benjamin Information

University

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Position

Professor of Psychology

Citations(all)

8410

Citations(since 2020)

3576

Cited By

6325

hIndex(all)

50

hIndex(since 2020)

32

i10Index(all)

107

i10Index(since 2020)

89

Email

University Profile Page

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Aaron S. Benjamin Skills & Research Interests

human learning

human memory

metamemory

decision-making

Top articles of Aaron S. Benjamin

Judgments of learning reflect the encoding of contexts, not items: evidence from a test of recognition exclusion

Authors

Belgin Ünal,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Memory

Published Date

2024/1/2

Two sources of evidence seem to be shared by judgments of past recognition and judgments of future performance: item memory or familiarity (i.e., memory for the item independent of the context in which it was experienced) and context memory or recollection (i.e., memory for the context specific to a particular prior encounter). However, there are few studies investigating the link between these two putative memory processes and judgments of learning (JOLs). We tested memory and metamemory using a continuous exclusion procedure – a modified recognition memory task where study events for two classes of items are interleaved with test trials in which the subject must endorse items from one class and reject items from the other. This procedure allowed us to estimate the influences of memory for context and memory for item on JOLs and licenses conclusions about the relative role of item and context …

Improving contact tracing with directed recall.

Authors

Belgin Ünal,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

Published Date

2023/7/10

Contact tracing is a key strategy for slowing the spread of infectious diseases. We evaluated the effect of a directed recall manipulation on the quantity of names produced during contact tracing interviews. Participants reported close contacts over the last 4 days prior to the experiment. We found that people report more contacts when they are guided in directed recall (ie, backward or forward in time) than when given the freedom to recall as they please. A second recall opportunity led to the retrieval of additional contacts, regardless of recall direction. Finally, the direction of recall instructions did not affect the overall number of names retrieved but did result in different patterns of retrieval density with respect to time. Backward recall elicited more recall of recent contacts, making it appropriate for public health officials engaging in forward-tracing protocols. Forward recall elicited more retrieval of distant contacts, making …

Metamnemonic predictions of lineup identification

Authors

Geoffrey L McKinley,Aaron S Benjamin,Scott D Gronlund

Journal

Memory

Published Date

2023/9/14

After a crime is committed, investigators may query witnesses about whether they believe they will be to identify the perpetrator. However, we know little about how such metacognitive judgments are related to performance on a subsequent lineup identification task. The extant research has found the strength of this relationship to be small or nonexistent, which conflicts with the large body of literature indicating a moderate relationship between predictions and performance on memory tasks. In Studies 1–3, we induce variation in encoding quality by having participants watch a mock crime video with either low, medium, or high exposure quality, and then assess their future lineup performance. Calibration analysis revealed that assessments of future lineup performance were predictive of identification accuracy. This relationship was driven primarily by poor performance following low assessments. Studies 4 and 5 …

Using the internet “raises the bar” for precision in self‐produced question answering

Authors

Kristy A Hamilton,Jessica Siler,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Applied Cognitive Psychology

Published Date

2023/7

When responding to queries for information, people control the grain size (precision–coarseness) of the information they communicate based on competing goals of accuracy and informativeness (Goldsmith & Koriat, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1999, 19, 167). Two experiments examined whether the act of searching for answers using the internet influences the granularity of the information people later choose to report. Participants who searched the internet for answers to general information questions later provided more precise (granular) estimates to questions in the absence of the internet when compared to participants who initially answered questions from memory and participants who initially were not asked any questions. These results indicate that searching the internet influences metacognitive processes underlying decisions about the granularity of the information we choose to communicate. The …

Models of unforced choice

Authors

Victor Hernando Cervantes,Aaron Benjamin

Published Date

2023/5/9

Unforced choice tasks are ones in which the responder has the option of selecting from a limited array of choices or rejecting the entire set. Such tasks are common in perceptual and cognitive research, but models of decision-making for unforced choice are sparse in the literature and lack a unifying mathematical framework. Such tasks are important for theoretical development because they contain elements of relative, criterion-independent decision making---in which response options are compared to one another---and also criterion-dependent decision making, in which options are compared to a decision criterion determined by the observer. We provide a generic signal-detection multivariate framework for developing models of unforced choice that draws lessons from the geometry of multivariate statistics, from multidimensional signal-detection theories, and from psychophysical models of visual search. We show how this framework can accommodate all extant models of unforced choice that have been applied to the specific case of lineup memory tasks for eyewitnesses. Exact derivations, some of which have proven elusive to this point, are provided for each model in both an unrestricted form---in which variances and covariances are relatively free to vary across signal and noise---and in various restricted forms, in which constraints are applied to variances and covariances. Using the formalizations presented here, we show that all of the current models of lineup memory have severe limitations that render some models challenging to directly compare to one another and other models unidentifiable. Overall, the multivariate framework will aid …

Incorporating Functional Response Time Effects into a Signal Detection Theory Model

Authors

Sun-Joo Cho,Sarah Brown-Schmidt,Paul De Boeck,Matthew Naveiras,Si On Yoon,Aaron Benjamin

Journal

Psychometrika

Published Date

2023/9

Signal detection theory (SDT; Tanner & Swets in Psychological Review 61:401–409, 1954) is a dominant modeling framework used for evaluating the accuracy of diagnostic systems that seek to distinguish signal from noise in psychology. Although the use of response time data in psychometric models has increased in recent years, the incorporation of response time data into SDT models remains a relatively underexplored approach to distinguishing signal from noise. Functional response time effects are hypothesized in SDT models, based on findings from other related psychometric models with response time data. In this study, an SDT model is extended to incorporate functional response time effects using smooth functions and to include all sources of variability in SDT model parameters across trials, participants, and items in the experimental data. The extended SDT model with smooth functions is formulated …

MEMCONS: How Contemporaneous Note‐Taking Shapes Memory for Conversation

Authors

Sarah Brown‐Schmidt,Christopher B Jaeger,Melissa J Evans,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Cognitive Science

Published Date

2023/4

Written memoranda of conversations, or memcons, provide a near‐contemporaneous record of what was said in conversation, and offer important insights into the activities of high‐profile individuals. We assess the impact of writing a memcon on memory for conversation. Pairs of participants engaged in conversation and were asked to recall the contents of that conversation 1 week later. One participant in each pair memorialized the content of the interaction in a memcon shortly after the conversation. Participants who generated memcons recalled more details of the conversations than participants who did not, but the content of recall was equally and largely accurate for both participants. Remarkably, only 4.7% of the details of the conversation were recalled by both of the partners after a week delay. Contemporaneous note‐taking appears to enhance memory for conversation by increasing the amount of …

Strategic regulation of memory in dsyphoria: a quantity-accuracy profile analysis

Authors

Matthew J King,Todd A Girard,Aaron S Benjamin,Bruce K Christensen

Journal

Memory

Published Date

2023/8/9

The mechanisms underlying a tendency among individuals with depression to report personal episodic memories with low specificity remain to be understood. We assessed a sample of undergraduate students with dysphoria to determine whether depression relates to a broader dysregulation of balancing accuracy and informativeness during memory reports. Specifically, we investigated metamnemonic processes using a quantity-accuracy profile approach. Recall involved three phases with increasing allowance for more general, or coarse-grained, responses: (a) forced-precise responding, requiring high precision; (b) free-choice report with high and low penalty incentives on accuracy; (c) a lexical description phase. Individuals with and without dysphoria were largely indistinguishable across indices of retrieval, monitoring, and control aspects of metamemory. The results indicate intact metacognitive processing …

Lower memory specificity in individuals with dysphoria is not specific to autobiographical memory

Authors

Matthew J King,Kesia Courtenay,Bruce K Christensen,Aaron S Benjamin,Todd A Girard

Journal

Journal of Affective Disorders

Published Date

2023/3/15

BackgroundA core cognitive attribute of depression is lower specificity in the expression of autobiographical memories. Despite interventions targeting memory specificity in depression, its underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Depression also relates to poorer memory for episodic details; here we examine whether reduced specificity might simply reflect broader episodic memory deficits and weakened memory traces with the passage of time.MethodsUndergraduate students with and without symptoms of depression completed the Autobiographical Interview and prose-reading episodic memory tasks to assess both same-day and delayed memory.ResultsDysphoria and nondysphoria groups performed similarly on the tasks of immediate episodic and autobiographical memory; notably, the dysphoria group did not display evidence of lower specificity at this time point. After a delay, however, both …

Haven’t I seen you before? Conceptual but not perceptual prior familiarity enhances face recognition memory

Authors

Melisa Akan,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Journal of Memory and Language

Published Date

2023/8/1

Prior familiarity with a face seems to substantively change the way we encode and recognize later instances of that face. We report five experiments that examine the effects of varying levels of prior familiarity and conceptual knowledge on face recognition memory. All experiments employed a 3-phase procedure, in which faces were familiarized in varying ways and to varying extents prior to study and test. Across experiments, increased prior familiarity led to a simultaneous increase in both correct and false identification rates, either when familiarity was gained through passive exposures or conceptual processing. Discriminability, on the other hand, was enhanced by prior familiarity only when the level of familiarity was high and when it involved conceptual processing (Experiments 1–3). Familiarity engendered by passive exposure affected response bias equivalently to more active orienting tasks, but it reduced …

Comparing models of learning and relearning in large-scale cognitive training data sets

Authors

Aakriti Kumar,Aaron S Benjamin,Andrew Heathcote,Mark Steyvers

Journal

npj Science of Learning

Published Date

2022/10/4

Practice in real-world settings exhibits many idiosyncracies of scheduling and duration that can only be roughly approximated by laboratory research. Here we investigate 39,157 individuals’ performance on two cognitive games on the Lumosity platform over a span of 5 years. The large-scale nature of the data allows us to observe highly varied lengths of uncontrolled interruptions to practice and offers a unique view of learning in naturalistic settings. We enlist a suite of models that grow in the complexity of the mechanisms they postulate and conclude that long-term naturalistic learning is best described with a combination of long-term skill and task-set preparedness. We focus additionally on the nature and speed of relearning after breaks in practice and conclude that those components must operate interactively to produce the rapid relearning that is evident even at exceptionally long delays (over 2 years …

Examining the generalizability of research findings from archival data

Authors

Andrew Delios,Elena Giulia Clemente,Tao Wu,Hongbin Tan,Yong Wang,Michael Gordon,Domenico Viganola,Zhaowei Chen,Anna Dreber,Magnus Johannesson,Thomas Pfeiffer,Generalizability Tests Forecasting Collaboration,Eric Luis Uhlmann

Journal

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Published Date

2022/7/26

This initiative examined systematically the extent to which a large set of archival research findings generalizes across contexts. We repeated the key analyses for 29 original strategic management effects in the same context (direct reproduction) as well as in 52 novel time periods and geographies; 45% of the reproductions returned results matching the original reports together with 55% of tests in different spans of years and 40% of tests in novel geographies. Some original findings were associated with multiple new tests. Reproducibility was the best predictor of generalizability—for the findings that proved directly reproducible, 84% emerged in other available time periods and 57% emerged in other geographies. Overall, only limited empirical evidence emerged for context sensitivity. In a forecasting survey, independent scientists were able to anticipate which effects would find support in tests in new samples.

Did you look that up? How retrieving from smartphones affects memory for source

Authors

Jessica Siler,Kristy A Hamilton,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Applied Cognitive Psychology

Published Date

2022/7

It is difficult to monitor whether information was originally retrieved internally, from our own memory, or externally, from another person or a device. We report two experiments that examined whether people were more likely to confuse prior access to information on a smartphone with accessing their own knowledge. Participants were experimentally assigned to either attempt to answer questions from memory or with a smartphone. One week later, we tested memory for the answers and source memory for the modality of the original attempt to retrieve the answer. Participants exhibited poorer source memory for answers retrieved from a smartphone than for answers they initially attempted to retrieve from memory. Experiment 2 demonstrated that memory for the information was equivalent across conditions. These results demonstrate that we are prone to confusing information retrieved from internal and external …

The effect of lineup size on eyewitness identification.

Authors

Melisa Akan,Maria M Robinson,Laura Mickes,John T Wixted,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied

Published Date

2021/6

Eyewitness identification via lineup procedures is an important and widely used source of evidence in criminal cases. However, the scientific literature provides inconsistent guidance on a very basic feature of lineup procedure: lineup size. In two experiments, we examined whether the number of fillers affects diagnostic accuracy in a lineup, as assessed with receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Showups (identification procedures with one face) led to lower discriminability than simultaneous lineups. However, in neither experiment did the number of fillers in a lineup affect discriminability. We also evaluated competing models of decision-making from lineups. This analysis indicated that the standard Independent Observations (IO) model, which assumes a decision rule based on the comparison of memory strength signals generated by each face in a lineup, is incapable of reproducing the lower level of …

Referential form and memory for the discourse history

Authors

Si On Yoon,Aaron S Benjamin,Sarah Brown‐Schmidt

Journal

Cognitive science

Published Date

2021/4

The way we refer to things in the world is shaped by the immediate physical context as well as the discourse history. But what part of the discourse history is relevant to language use in the present? In four experiments, we combine the study of task‐based conversation with measures of recognition memory to examine the role of physical contextual cues that shape what speakers perceive to be a part of the relevant discourse history. Our studies leverage the differentiation effect, a phenomenon in which speakers are more likely to use a modified expression to refer to an object (e.g., dotted sock) if they had previously described a similar object (e.g., striped sock) than when they had not described a similar object. Two physical cues—the background that framed the to‐be‐described pictures and the position of the pictures in the display—were manipulated to alter perceptions about the relevant discourse context. We …

Explaining algorithm aversion with metacognitive bandits

Authors

Aakriti Kumar,Trisha Patel,Aaron S Benjamin,Mark Steyvers

Journal

Proceedings of the annual meeting of the cognitive science society

Published Date

2021

Human-AI collaboration is an increasingly commonplace part of decision-making in real world applications. However, how humans behave when collaborating with AI is not well understood. We develop metacognitive bandits, a computational model of a human's advice-seeking behavior when working with an AI. The model describes a person's metacognitive process of deciding when to rely on their own judgment and when to solicit the advice of the AI. It also accounts for the difficulty of each trial in making the decision to solicit advice. We illustrate that the metacognitive bandit makes decisions similar to humans in a behavioral experiment. We also demonstrate that algorithm aversion, a widely reported bias, can be explained as the result of a quasi-optimal sequential decision-making process. Our model does not need to assume any prior biases towards AI to produce this behavior.

The negative reminding effect: Reminding impairs memory for contextual information

Authors

Jonathan G Tullis,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Journal of Memory and Language

Published Date

2021/12/1

Encountering events that are meaningfully related to prior episodes can prompt retrieval of those prior events. Reminders are events that prompt retrieval of prior learned information, while reminded materials are the events that are retrieved in response. Reminders are an important component of efficient and effective cognition because they partially automate the process of bringing relevant prior knowledge to bear on novel situations. Across four experiments, we investigated whether reminders boosts memory for the entire prior reminded episode or for only specific aspects of prior experiences that are relevant to the reminder. To do so, we combined a reminding procedure with a paradigm for measuring memory for the incidental context of encoding. Participants studied lists of words in which semantically related pairs (e.g., “volcano” and “erupt”) were presented across brief lags and in different color contexts …

Am I tone-deaf? Assessing pitch discrimination in 700,000 people

Authors

Courtney B Hilton,Joshua Fiechter,Aaron S Benjamin,Samuel Mehr

Journal

Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society

Published Date

2021

Congenital amusia of pitch (tone-deafness), which affects ~1.5% of the population, involves a deficit in pitch processing affecting the perception of musical melody and some speech contrasts. Lay-knowledge of tone-deafness considers the phenomenon to be categorical, as does prior work contrasting ‘amusics’ to ‘controls’, designated as such by thresholds on diagnostic tests. Is amusia a qualitative break from normal pitch discrimination, or does it represent the extreme end of a distributed skill? Large-scale datasets, combined with theoretically motivated tools for extracting latent measures of ability, can answer this question. We studied individual differences in pitch discrimination in 700,000 people using Bayesian hierarachical diffusion models. We found no evidence for a categorical deficit: pitch perception ability was normally and continuously distributed. We additionally report preliminary findings on pitch perception ability as a function of age, gender, native language, musical experience, and self-assessments of tone-deafness.

Memory fidelity reveals qualitative changes in interactions between items in visual working memory

Authors

Zachary Lively,Maria M Robinson,Aaron S Benjamin

Journal

Psychological Science

Published Date

2021/9

Memory for objects in a display sometimes reveals attraction—the objects are remembered as more similar to one another than they actually were—and sometimes reveals repulsion—the objects are remembered as more different from one another. The conditions that lead to these opposing memory biases are poorly understood; there is no theoretical framework that explains these contrasting dynamics. In three experiments (each N = 30 adults), we demonstrate that memory fidelity provides a unifying dimension that accommodates the existence of both types of visual working memory interactions. We show that either attraction or repulsion can arise simply as a function of manipulations of memory fidelity. We also demonstrate that subjective ratings of fidelity predict the presence of attraction or repulsion on a trial-by-trial basis. We discuss how these results bear on computational models of visual working memory …

A creative destruction approach to replication: Implicit work and sex morality across cultures

Authors

Warren Tierney,Jay Hardy III,Charles R Ebersole,Domenico Viganola,Elena Giulia Clemente,Michael Gordon,Suzanne Hoogeveen,Julia Haaf,Anna Dreber,Magnus Johannesson,Thomas Pfeiffer,Jason L Huang,Leigh Ann Vaughn,Kenneth DeMarree,Eric R Igou,Hanah Chapman,Ana Gantman,Matthew Vanaman,Jordan Wylie,Justin Storbeck,Michael R Andreychik,Jon McPhetres,Eric Luis Uhlmann,Culture & Work Morality Forecasting Collaboration

Journal

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Published Date

2021/3/1

How can we maximize what is learned from a replication study? In the creative destruction approach to replication, the original hypothesis is compared not only to the null hypothesis, but also to predictions derived from multiple alternative theoretical accounts of the phenomenon. To this end, new populations and measures are included in the design in addition to the original ones, to help determine which theory best accounts for the results across multiple key outcomes and contexts. The present pre-registered empirical project compared the Implicit Puritanism account of intuitive work and sex morality to theories positing regional, religious, and social class differences; explicit rather than implicit cultural differences in values; self-expression vs. survival values as a key cultural fault line; the general moralization of work; and false positive effects. Contradicting Implicit Puritanism's core theoretical claim of a distinct …

See List of Professors in Aaron S. Benjamin University(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Aaron S. Benjamin FAQs

What is Aaron S. Benjamin's h-index at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

The h-index of Aaron S. Benjamin has been 32 since 2020 and 50 in total.

What are Aaron S. Benjamin's top articles?

The articles with the titles of

Judgments of learning reflect the encoding of contexts, not items: evidence from a test of recognition exclusion

Improving contact tracing with directed recall.

Metamnemonic predictions of lineup identification

Using the internet “raises the bar” for precision in self‐produced question answering

Models of unforced choice

Incorporating Functional Response Time Effects into a Signal Detection Theory Model

MEMCONS: How Contemporaneous Note‐Taking Shapes Memory for Conversation

Strategic regulation of memory in dsyphoria: a quantity-accuracy profile analysis

...

are the top articles of Aaron S. Benjamin at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

What are Aaron S. Benjamin's research interests?

The research interests of Aaron S. Benjamin are: human learning, human memory, metamemory, decision-making

What is Aaron S. Benjamin's total number of citations?

Aaron S. Benjamin has 8,410 citations in total.

What are the co-authors of Aaron S. Benjamin?

The co-authors of Aaron S. Benjamin are Fergus I. M. Craik, Robert A. Bjork, Mark Steyvers, Bruce Christensen, Alan Castel, Thad Polk.

    Co-Authors

    H-index: 130
    Fergus I. M. Craik

    Fergus I. M. Craik

    University of Toronto

    H-index: 92
    Robert A. Bjork

    Robert A. Bjork

    University of California, Los Angeles

    H-index: 60
    Mark Steyvers

    Mark Steyvers

    University of California, Irvine

    H-index: 55
    Bruce Christensen

    Bruce Christensen

    Australian National University

    H-index: 51
    Alan Castel

    Alan Castel

    University of California, Los Angeles

    H-index: 42
    Thad Polk

    Thad Polk

    University of Michigan

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