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Metamemory and processing fluency

Humans possess the striking reflexive capacity to monitor and control their own learning and retrieval (metamemory). In the scientific literature on metamemory, the impact of the ease of processing stimuli during learning (processing fluency) on metamemory has been a topic of much debate. Funded by the German research foundation (DFG, UN 345/1-3), this project combines experimental, statistical, and model-based approaches to investigate to what extent and under what conditions processing fluency contributes to people’s predictions of their future memory performance. Addressing this issue will enhance the scientific knowledge about metamemory and produce practical recommendations on how to improve metacognitive monitoring.

Project Team Members

Selected Publications

  • Undorf, M. (in press). Fluency illusions in metamemory. In A. M. Cleary & B. L. Schwartz (Eds.), Memory quirks: The study of odd phenomena in memory. New York: Routledge.
  • Undorf, M., & Zimdahl, M. F. (2019). Metamemory and memory for a wide range of font sizes: What is the contribution of perceptual fluency? Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 45, 97-109. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000571
  • Undorf, M., & Zander, T. (2017). Intuition and metacognition: The effect of semantic coherence on judgments of learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review : PB&R, 24, 1217-1224. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-016-1189-0
  • Undorf, M., Zimdahl, M. F., & Bernstein, D. M. (2017). Perceptual fluency contributes to effects of stimulus size on judgments of learning. Journal of Memory and Language : JML, 92, 293-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2016.07.003
  • Undorf, M., & Erdfelder, E. (2015). The relatedness effect on judgments of learning: A closer look at the contribution of processing fluency. Memory & Cognition, 43, 647-658. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-014-0479-x

Metacognition viewed through the judgment lens

Metacognition, the ability to monitor and control one’s own cognitive processes, guides effective regulation of behavior. To assess this ability, researchers often obtain metacognitive judgments. In this project, funded by the German research foundation (DFG, UN 345/2-1 and BR 2130/14-1), we analyze metacognitive judgments with tools and methods of judgment and decision making research. This research extends the scope of metacognition research, contributes to the development of better measures for metacognitive accuracy, and provides the foundation for a theoretical framework that integrates metacognition with first-order cognition.

Project Team Members

Selected Publications