Exploring a Mnemonic Debiasing Account of the Underconfidence-With-Practice Effect

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Abstract

Judgments of learning (JOLs) underestimate the increase in recall that occurs with repeated study (the underconfidence-with-practice effect; UWP). The authors explore an account in terms of a foresight bias in which JOLs are inflated when the to-be-recalled target highlights aspects of the cue that are not transparent when the cue appears alone and the tendency of practice to alleviate bias by providing learners with cues pertinent to recall. In 3 experiments the UWP effect was strongest for items that induce a foresight bias, but delaying JOLs reduced the debiasing effects of practice, thereby moderating the UWP effect. This occurred when delayed JOLs were prompted by the cue alone (like during testing), not when prompted by the cue-target pair (like during study).

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