The recognition heuristic (RH) is a hypothesized decision strategy that is assumed to enable individuals to make decisions quickly and with minimal effort. To further test this hypothesized strategy, an experiment assessed the proportion of RH-consistent selections when recognition was unconfounded with any other cues (at the group level). This was accomplished by showing participants a fictitious city in the beginning of the experimental procedure, before asking them to decide Whether the previously presented city or a novel fictitious city has the larger population. As hypothesized, people made significantly more RH-consistent selections than chance. Thus, Experiment 1 demonstrated that RH can explain a considerable proportion of participant decisions in a procedure that experimentally excluded alternative interpretations of that behavior. In a second experiment, each participant was given a training session with accuracy feedback. In one group, well-known cities were larger on 80% of trials. In another group, well-known cities were larger on 50% of trials. In a third group, well-known cities were larger on only 20% of trials. On a judgment task later in the procedure, on which there was no feedback, participants from the third group made significantly fewer RH-consistent selections than those in the first two groups. Overall, the present results experimentally remove potential confounds and ambiguities that were present in many prior studies. Specifically, Experiment 1 establishes that people’s choice of recognized over unrecognized objects truly does reflect the use of recognition, rather than other cues; Experiment 2 experimentally demonstrates that learned recognition validity affects the use of recognition, even with a small training sample.