Self-regulated learning: beliefs, techniques, and illusions

Annu Rev Psychol. 2013;64:417-44. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143823. Epub 2012 Sep 27.


Knowing how to manage one's own learning has become increasingly important in recent years, as both the need and the opportunities for individuals to learn on their own outside of formal classroom settings have grown. During that same period, however, research on learning, memory, and metacognitive processes has provided evidence that people often have a faulty mental model of how they learn and remember, making them prone to both misassessing and mismanaging their own learning. After a discussion of what learners need to understand in order to become effective stewards of their own learning, we first review research on what people believe about how they learn and then review research on how people's ongoing assessments of their own learning are influenced by current performance and the subjective sense of fluency. We conclude with a discussion of societal assumptions and attitudes that can be counterproductive in terms of individuals becoming maximally effective learners.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Culture
  • Humans
  • Illusions / physiology
  • Illusions / psychology*
  • Judgment / physiology
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology