Memory and Learning: Boffins Discuss Metacognition

by Tanya Thomas on  March 8, 2010 at 10:53 AM Research News   - G J E 4
 Memory and Learning: Boffins Discuss Metacognition
A recent study that primarily delves into memory and learning is asking two questions - Are we over-estimating memory and underestimating learning?

Led by Nate Kornell, an assistant professor of psychology at Williams College, and Robert A. Bjork of the University of California, Los Angeles, the researchers have reported their findings in the paper titled 'A Stability Bias in Human Memory: Overestimating Remembering and Underestimating Learning'.

"To manage one's own conditions of learning effectively requires gaining an understanding of the activities and processes that do and do not support learning," wrote the authors.

In psychology, experts use the term metacognition to talk about how people think about their own cognitive processes - in essence, thinking about thinking.

To investigate how people think about their capacity for remembering, the authors asked people to look at a list of words and predict how well they would be able to remember the words after subsequent periods of study and testing.

Their results led the researchers to the suggestion that people are under confident in their learning abilities and overconfident in their memories.

Thos meant that people failed to predict that they would be able to remember more words after studying more - although in reality, they learned far more- instead basing their predictions on current memory. Kornell and Bjork call this a "stability bias" in memory.

The study has been recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Source: ANI

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