The influence of metacognitive judgments on study-time allocation when the material to be remembered is visual-nonsemantic
Coutinho, Mariana V. C.
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This thesis investigates whether people monitor their learning during study of visual-nonsemantic items and use their metacognitive judgments to control study-time allocation. Prior studies have shown that people exert explicit control over their study during learning of semantic information, but it is not clear whether they do the same when the information to be remembered is perceptual. The current experiments examined this issue by addressing the following points: first, how participants allocate their study time across visual-nonsemantic items varying in difficulty; second, whether participants' metacognitive judgments about their learning are related to subsequent study-time allocation; third, whether this relationship is causal; fourth, whether providing participants with the opportunity to control their study increases their confidence about the likelihood of remembering the studied items; fifth, whether limiting participants' chances to study the to-be-remembered items influences how they allocate these chances across easy and difficult items. In addition, this thesis examines whether the type of information that participants are required to remember, whether it is semantic or nonsemantic, influences how well they control their study. To examine this issue, one other experiment was conducted looking at the strength of the relationship between metacognitive judgments and study-time allocation when the stimuli were either pairs of pictures of concrete concepts or pairs of abstract shapes. The main findings from these experiments provide some evidence that participants may exert explicit control over their study when the information to be remembered is perceptual, but they do not seem to control it as well as when the information is semantic. These results are discussed in relation to models of self-regulated study.