More isn’t always better: when metacognitive prompts are misleading
Young, Michael E.
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Vangsness, L., Young, M.E. More isn’t always better: when metacognitive prompts are misleading. Metacognition Learning (2020)
Accurate metacognitive monitoring improves performance in a variety of naturalistic contexts. However, the laboratory contexts used to study metacognition differ from naturalistic environments in important ways. Specifically, laboratory experiments require learners to make repeated, overt judgments that are thought to reflect underlying metacognitive processes. We conducted two research studies to determine how the frequency of overt prompts affects cue use, judgment accuracy, and performance. This was accomplished by manipulating the frequency with which participants made judgements of difficulty (JODs) while completing a primary task. We found that participants who made frequent overt prompts attended more strongly to peripheral cues than to central cues. Frequent overt prompts also had differing effects on performance and judgment accuracy: they reduced metacognitive accuracy in a visual search task (Experiment 1) and performance on a standardized exam (Experiment 2). Although our experiments do not identify a clear, causal agent that drives differences in performance and judgment accuracy, these results illustrate the interesting relationship between cue use and metacognitive monitoring.
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