Metacognition and fluid intelligence in value-directed remembering

Abstract

The ability to selectively focus on and remember important information, referred to as value-directed remembering, may be crucial for effective memory functioning. In the present study, we investigated the relationships between metacognitive monitoring and control accuracy, selectivity for valuable information, and fluid intelligence. Mediation analyses demonstrated that participants’ monitoring assessments and later recall were influenced by the value of the to-be-learned words and the accuracy of participants’ judgments was moderated by fluid intelligence. Moreover, recall, selectivity, metacognitive awareness of selectivity, and metacognitive accuracy all generally increased with task experience, demonstrating participants’ ability to improve their memory by utilizing cognitive resources more effectively. Together the results suggest that people may be aware of the need to be selective, and engaging in value-directed remembering may be related to higher-level cognitive skills associated with problem-solving and reasoning. Specifically, the strategic use of memory may be involved in focusing on important information, and the metacognitive processes that allow for this prioritization of memory may be related to more general problem-solving abilities that involve identifying important features of information to guide cognition in a broader context.

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Notes

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    Although our sample size is somewhat small for individual differences research, the use of multilevel regression models improves power compared to traditional ANOVAs. Additionally, we were able to find significant effects despite the smaller sample size; however, these findings should be replicated with larger samples in future work.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging; Award Number R01 AG044335 to Alan D. Castel).

Open Practices Statement

None of the experiments reported in this article were formally preregistered. Neither the data nor the materials have been made available on a permanent third-party archive; requests for the data or materials are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Murphy, D.H., Agadzhanyan, K., Whatley, M.C. et al. Metacognition and fluid intelligence in value-directed remembering. Metacognition Learning (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-021-09265-9

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Keywords

  • Metacognition
  • Judgments of learning
  • Fluid intelligence
  • Value
  • Selectivity