Exploring the intrinsic-extrinsic distinction in prospective metamemory

Jonathan A. Susser, Neil W Mulligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The overwhelming majority of research on metamemory examines retrospective memory – memory for past events. The metamemory of prospective memory – remembering to carry out intentions in the future – is little studied. The cue utilization account is a prominent framework for analyzing retrospective metamemory, here applied to prospective metamemory. This framework predicts that intrinsic cues (e.g., characteristics of the to-be-remembered information) readily impact metamemory whereas extrinsic cues (e.g., features of the general learning environment) have much less impact. The current study examined prospective memory using target-response word pairs. Participants were to remember to interrupt an ongoing task when a target was noticed, and then recall the associated response. Prior to the ongoing task, participants predicted (using judgments-of-learning, JOLs) whether they would notice a given target and whether they would recall the response for that target. This paradigm allows an assessment of metamemory and actual memory for the prospective component (the noticing of the target) and the retrospective component (the retrieval of the response). Four experiments found that prospective-JOLs were affected by an intrinsic cue (target-word association) but not by an extrinsic cue (target focality), as predicted by the cue-utilization account. The same results were found for the retrospective-JOLs. The results provide initial evidence that the cue-utilization framework generalizes to prospective metamemory. These results also revealed two complementary metamemorial illusions: target-response association impacts prospective-JOLs but not actual prospective memory performance, and target focality fails to impact prospective-JOLs but does affect actual prospective memory. This indicates that prospective metamemory may be subject to illusions in ways similar to retrospective metamemory.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages43-55
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume104
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

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Cues
Episodic Memory
Data storage equipment
Learning
learning
utilization
Metacognition
Metamemory
Intrinsic
Extrinsic
learning environment
paradigm
event
Judgments of Learning
experiment
Prospective Memory
performance
evidence
Research
Experiments

Keywords

  • Metamemory
  • Prospective memory
  • Recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Exploring the intrinsic-extrinsic distinction in prospective metamemory. / Susser, Jonathan A.; Mulligan, Neil W.

In: Journal of Memory and Language, Vol. 104, 01.02.2019, p. 43-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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