People use the Memory for Past-Test Heuristic as an Explicit Cue for Judgments of Learning

Michael Serra, Robert Ariel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When people estimate their memory for to-be-learned material over multiple study-test trials, they tend to base their judgments of learning (JOLs) on their test performance for those materials on the previous trial. Their use of this information—known as the memory for past-test (MPT) heuristic—is believed to be responsible for improvements in the relative accuracy (resolution) of people’s JOLs across learning trials. Although participants seem to use past-test information as a major basis for their JOLs, little is known about how learners translate this information into a judgment of learning. Towards this end, in two experiments we examined whether participants factored past-test performance into their JOLs in either an explicit, theory-based way or an implicit way. To do so, we had one group of participants (learners) study paired associates, make JOLs, and take a test on two study-test trials. Other participants (observers) viewed learners’ protocols and made JOLs for the learners
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1260-1272
JournalMemory & Cognition
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2014

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