Predicting one's own forgetting: the role of experience-based and theory-based processes

J Exp Psychol Gen. 2004 Dec;133(4):643-56. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.133.4.643.


The authors examined the hypothesis that judgments of learning (JOL), if governed by processing fluency during encoding, should be insensitive to the anticipated retention interval. Indeed, neither item-by-item nor aggregate JOLs exhibited "forgetting" unless participants were asked to estimate recall rates for several different retention intervals, in which case their estimates mimicked closely actual recall rates. These results and others reported suggest that participants can access their knowledge about forgetting but only when theory-based predictions are made, and then only when the notion of forgetting is accentuated either by manipulating retention interval within individuals or by framing recall predictions in terms of forgetting rather than remembering. The authors interpret their findings in terms of the distinction between experience-based and theory-based JOLs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Learning
  • Memory*
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Retention, Psychology