The Effect of Perceptual Processing Fluency and Value on Metacognition and Remembering
Dillon H. Murphy, Stephen C. Huckins, Matthew G. Rhodes & Alan D. Castel
Previous research has indicated that perceptual processing fluency significantly affects metacognitive predictions of performance but not learning outcomes. In the present study, we examined the differential impact of perceptual processing fluency and an item’s value on metacognition and recall. We presented participants with words visually and audibly, with each word paired with a point value counting towards participants’ scores if recalled. The words were either highly perceptually fluent (large font, loud volume) or less perceptually fluent (small font, low volume). Results revealed that both metacognitive monitoring (JOLs) and recall were sensitive to perceptual processing fluency as well as value, but the magnitude of the effect of value was significantly greater than that of font size. Specifically, high-value words were better remembered than low-value words, regardless of fluency, and participants’ judgments mapped onto their selectivity for valuable information. Thus, the current study revealed the differential effects of intrinsic and extrinsic cues on metacognitive monitoring and later remembering such that the cues that can influence monitoring in certain encoding conditions become less impactful when pitted against other intrinsic cues in different encoding conditions.