To reveal the pure effects of trial-by-trial feedback on judgmental accuracy and sequential dependencies independent of global anchoring effects and other influences, we presented subjects with sequences consisting alternately (within an experimental session) of short runs of trials with feedback (feedback sequences) and without feedback (no-feedback sequences). In Experiments 1 and 2 (absolute identification of sound intensity and sound frequency, respectively), judgmental accuracy was the same in the feedback and the no-feedback sequences, contrary to previous results. Also, in the feedback sequences, the dependency of the current response on the immediately preceding stimulus was larger than that in the no-feedback sequences, while the dependency on the previous response was larger in the no-feedback sequences. In Experiment 3 (absolute identification of sound frequency), we attempted to separate the effects of the number of response categories on sequential dependencies from the effects of the number of stimuli. The results showed that the number of response categories had a larger effect than the number of stimuli on most aspects of performance, but that both affected sequential dependencies. These results are generally consistent with a theory of absolute identification in which feedback affects judgmental accuracy by improving long-term memory for judgmental anchors, while feedback affects sequential dependencies by altering response biases.
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