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Easy comes, easy goes? The link between learning and remembering and its exploitation in metacognition

Abstract

The cue-utilization view in metacognition assumes that judgments of learning (JOLs) are based on inferences from mnemonic cues deriving from the online processing of items during learning. This view calls for a specification of the underlying heuristics, their validity in predicting memory performance, and the extent to which they are utilized. This study examines one such heuristic: easily learned, easily remembered (ELER). We first show that ease of learning, as indexed by self-paced study time and by the number of trials to acquisition, is indeed a valid cue for recall success. We then demonstrate that this correlation between learning and remembering underlies metacognitive predictions about the future recallability of different items. The results are discussed in terms of the idea that metacognitive judgments incorporate knowledge about the internal ecology of cognitive processes, much as the perception of the external world embodies knowledge about the ecological structure of the environment.

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Correspondence to Asher Koriat.

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The research was conducted at the Institute of Information Processing and Decision Making, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel. I gratefully acknowledge support for this research by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP).

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Koriat, A. Easy comes, easy goes? The link between learning and remembering and its exploitation in metacognition. Memory & Cognition 36, 416–428 (2008). https://doi.org/10.3758/MC.36.2.416

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.3758/MC.36.2.416

Keywords

  • Study Time
  • Paired Associate
  • Fast Learner
  • Slow Learner
  • Final Recall