Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 357-375

First online:

Sources of information in metamemory: Judgments of learning and feelings of knowing

  • Bennett L. SchwartzAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Florida International University


Metamnemonic judgments probe people’s awareness of their own memory processes. The research reviewed here is an examination of the sources of information that subjects use to make judgments of learning (e.g., paired-associate judgments, ease-of-recognition predictions, free-recall judgments), and feelings of knowing (e.g., speeded strategy decisions, tip-of-the-tongue states, feeling-of-knowing judgments). The general pattern in the data suggests that subjects use different sources of information to form these judgments. Target-based sources appear to be important in judgments made at the time of acquisition, whereas cue-based judgments appear to be important in judgments made at the time of retrieval. In general, these sources of information serve as useful heuristics, and metamnemonic judgments tend to be accurate.