Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Psychology BS



First Advisor

Mark Huff, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



Metamemory, or the ability to understand the capacities of one’s own memory, is an important part of the learning process. One method for assessing metamemory is through the Judgment of Learning (JOL) task in which participants are asked to judge the likelihood of correctly remembering a target word in a cue-target word pair when only presented with a cue word at test. The associative direction of the cue-target pair has been shown to affect the accuracy of JOLs. Unlike forward pairs (e.g., credit-card), in which JOLs accurately predict recall, an illusion of competence has been reported for backward associates (e.g., card-credit), symmetrical associates (e.g., salt-pepper), and unrelated pairs (e.g., artery-bronze) in which JOLs overestimate later recall. The present study evaluates whether the illusion of competence pattern can be reduced or eliminated when participants use an item-specific or relational encoding strategy relative to reading (Experiment 1), and whether these encoding tasks are aided by warning participants about the illusion prior to study (Experiment 2). Across experiments, item-specific and relational encoding were found to reduce the illusion of competence for backward and unrelated pairs; however, warnings did not improve JOL estimations. Thus, the method of encoding, but not warnings, can facilitate JOL accuracy.

Included in

Psychology Commons