Are we aware of our ability to forget? Metacognitive predictions of directed forgetting.

06:00 EDT 4th June 2011 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Are we aware of our ability to forget? Metacognitive predictions of directed forgetting."

It is often important to accurately predict not only what information we will later remember, but also what information we are likely to forget. The present research examined these abilities in the context of item-method directed forgetting, to determine whether people are aware of their strategic control of remembering and forgetting, as well as what cues are used when making metacognitive judgments. Participants studied words, each of which was followed by a cue to remember (R) or forget (F) the word for an upcoming test, and also made predictions of how likely they would be to later recall each word. When asked to recall all of the words, regardless of cue, both recall and predicted recall were fairly sensitive to the R or F instructions, despite some overconfidence. A similar and stronger pattern was found when words were assigned positive or negative point values as cues to remember or forget. These findings suggest that item-based cues to remember or forget information can be successfully utilized when making metacognitive judgments, and that people are fairly aware of the control they have over both remembering and forgetting information.


Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA,

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Memory & cognition
ISSN: 1532-5946


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