Memory & Cognition

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 959–972

Illusions of competence during study can be remedied by manipulations that enhance learners’ sensitivity to retrieval conditions at test


DOI: 10.3758/BF03193244

Cite this article as:
Koriat, A. & Bjork, R.A. Memory & Cognition (2006) 34: 959. doi:10.3758/BF03193244


Monitoring one’s knowledge during study is susceptible to aforesight bias (Koriat & Bjork, 2005). Judgments of learning (JOLs) are inflated whenever information that is present at study and absent, but solicited, at test, such as the targets in cue-target paired associates, highlights aspects of cues that are less apparent when those cues are presented alone. The present findings demonstrate that foresight bias can be alleviated by study-test experience (Experiment 1), particularly test experience (Experiments 2 and 3), and by delaying JOLs after study (Experiment 4) and that both foresight bias and its alleviation have behavioral consequences, as measured by study time allocation (Experiment 5). Collectively, the findings suggest that overconfidence and misallocation of study time arise from a mismatch that is inherent to education—that the answer is present at study and absent at test—and that alleviating the problem requires creating conditions at study that sensitize learners to retrieval conditions at test.

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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity ofHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaLos Angeles