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Mem Cognit. 2005 Sep;33(6):1096-115.

Using the past to predict the future.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


This research addressed three issues. First, we examined whether retrospective confidence judgments (RCJs) and judgments of learning (JOLs) assess memory differently. Second, we examined the relative accuracy of JOLs and RCJs at predicting future recall performance. Third, we examined whether making JOLs improves subsequent recall better than making RCJs or making no metacognitive judgment. Results suggest that RCJs and JOLs are both based on retrievability, but that participants use their memory differently when making JOLs. RCJs were more accurate than JOLs at predicting future recall for some subsets of items, but the reverse was true for other subsets of items. Finally, eventual recall performance was facilitated when participants made JOLs but not when they made RCJs, suggesting that the JOL task helps to improve people's learning of the items.

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