Metamemory in a familiar place: the effects of environmental context on feeling of knowing

Hanczakowski, M., Zawadzka, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0214-1184, Collie, H. and Macken, B., 2017. Metamemory in a familiar place: the effects of environmental context on feeling of knowing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43 (1), pp. 59-71. ISSN 0278-7393

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Feeling-of-knowing (FOK) judgments are judgments of future recognizability of currently inaccessible information. They are known to depend both on the access to partial information about a target of retrieval and on the familiarity of the cue that is used as a memory probe. In the present study we assessed whether FOK judgments could also be shaped by incidental environmental context in which these judgments are made. To this end, we investigated 2 phenomena previously documented in studies on recognition memory—a context familiarity effect and a context reinstatement effect—in the procedure used to investigate FOK judgments. In 2 experiments, we found that FOK judgments increase in the presence of a familiar environmental context. The results of both experiments further revealed still higher FOK judgments when made in the presence of environmental context matching the encoding context of both cue and its associated target. The effect of context familiarity on FOK judgment was paralleled by an effect on the latencies of an unsuccessful memory search, but the effect of context reinstatement was not. Importantly, the elevated feeling of knowing in reinstated and familiar contexts was not accompanied by an increase in the accuracy of those judgments. Together, these results demonstrate that metacognitive processes are shaped by the overall volume of memory information accessed at retrieval, independently of whether this memory information is related to a cue, a target, or a context in which remembering takes place.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Creators: Hanczakowski, M., Zawadzka, K., Collie, H. and Macken, B.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Date: January 2017
Volume: 43
Number: 1
ISSN: 0278-7393
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Apr 2016 14:55
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 15:56

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