Magnitude and accuracy differences between judgements of remembering and forgetting

Michael J. Serra, Benjamin D. England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Metacognition researchers have recently begun to examine the effects of framing judgements of learning (JOLs) in terms of forgetting (rather than remembering) on the judgements' magnitude and accuracy. Although a promising new direction for the study of metamemory, initial studies have yielded inconsistent results. To help resolve these inconsistencies, in four experiments we had college students (N = 434) study paired associates and make JOLs framed in terms of either remembering or forgetting over two study-test trials. Our goals were to further document the effects of framing on the magnitude and accuracy of JOLs and to consider explanations for why specific patterns tend to emerge. The present experiments provide evidence that (a) judgements of forgetting are psychologically anchored at the midpoint of the JOL scale, whereas judgements of remembering are anchored at a lower point, (b) differences in absolute accuracy (calibration) by frame are largely artefactual and stem from differences in anchoring, (c) differences in JOL magnitude and absolute accuracy by frame do not obtain when memory cues are salient to participants, and (d) a forget frame impairs the relative accuracy (resolution) of JOLs across trials by reducing participants' reliance on cues such as memory for past test performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-2257
Number of pages27
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Accuracy
  • Framing
  • Judgements of learning
  • Metacognition
  • Metamemory


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