College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-22-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jessica M. Choplin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sandra Virtue, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joseph Mikels, Ph.D.


Three experiments examined whether part-set cuing effects might impair consumers’ abilities to remember to check loan attributes on a home-loan disclosure form. In part-set cuing effects, memory is typically impaired when a subset of previously learned items are offered as cues to aid subsequent recall. Participants studied a list of loan attributes to check when they subsequently reviewed a home-loan disclosure form. Results indicated that participants cued immediately prior to reviewing the form remembered to check (visually fixated) a lower percentage of non-cued attributes relative to those presented with no cues (Experiments 1 – 3). The magnitude of impairment increased as the cue-set size increased (Experiment 2) but did not vary according to the correspondence between the cue-presentation order and encoding order (Experiment 3). This pattern of results is consistent with retrieval-strength accounts (response competition or retrieval inhibition) and inconsistent with strategy-disruption accounts of part-set cuing effects. These findings demonstrate that even informed borrowers are vulnerable to deceptive tactics when reviewing government mandated home-loan disclosure forms. Implications for understanding consumers’ vulnerabilities to fraud and poor decision-making are discussed