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Strategic Metacognition: Self-Paced Study Time and Responsible Remembering

Updated: Apr 7

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Strategic metacognition: Self-paced study time and responsible remembering


Dillon H. Murphy, Kara M. Hoover, & Alan D. Castel




ABSTRACT

Metacognition involves the understanding and awareness of one’s cognitive processes, and responsible remembering is the notion that people strategically focus on and remember important information to prevent negative consequences for forgetting. The present study examined the metacognitive control processes involved in responsible remembering by evaluating how information importance affects one’s allocation of study time and subsequent recall. Specifically, participants were presented with pictures of children along with each child’s food preferences (2 foods they like, 2 foods they dislike, and 2 foods they are allergic to and must avoid) to remember for a later test. When making no metacognitive assessments or judging the likelihood of later remembering each food preference (JOL), participants did not strategically study or demonstrate enhanced recall for the most important information (allergies). However, when making judgments of importance (at either the item or global level), participants spent more time studying and best recalled the information that they rated as most important to remember (allergies). Collectively, these results suggest that when people judge the importance of remembering information, whether at the global or item level, study decisions are better informed, resulting in strategic studying and greater recall for information with the most severe consequences for forgetting.

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