, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 357-375

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


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.

I gratefully acknowledge the support of National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH48066-04 to Janet Metcalfe. I thank Janet Metcalfe, Robert Bjork, and Elizabeth Bjork for useful discussion leading up to this project. I thank Ron Fisher, John Dunlosky, Tom Nelson, Asher Koriat, John Gardiner, and one anonymous reviewer for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Finally, I thank my parents, Carol H. Schwartz and Foster Schwartz for all their help and guidance over the years.