Book Definition: A retrieval method in which one must identify present stimuli as having been previously presented. (pg 254)

In Your Own Words

  • Noticing that you have seen or heard stimuli before.
  • Realizing something you've already been introduced to in the past.
  • Being able to pick out a memory from a group of stimuli.
  • Identifying something experienced before by comparing it to other stimuli.
  • A retrieval method that relates a stimuli to something you have already experienced.
  • Remembering something because you have been previously introduced already.
  • It's normally easier than recall because the stuff is right in front of you and you have to "search your brain" based on what's given rather than searching your brain, alone.


  • Recognizing a song that you have heard on the radio before.
  • Recognizing someone who you have previously met.
  • Used frequently on multiple-choice tests; you may choose the answer you remember having heard/seen before.
  • When you're in the car recognizing areas that you have been before but don't go by often.
  • Recognizing the streets and signs that you pass in order to get to someones house.
  • Knowing what medicine you typically buy for your cold when you stand in the aisle and view all the brands of cold medicine.
  • Picking someone out of a police line up.
  • Recognizing a past dance routine that you haven't done in a while while watching one of your team mates do it.
  • Remembering a word after someone tells you the the first syllable.
  • In psychology class when you are listening to your teacher talk and you hear a vocabulary work that you recognize from your assigned book reading last night.