Research report: In a year, memory will benefit from learning, tomorrow it won't: Distance and construal level effects on the basis of metamemory judgments

Vered Halamish, Ravit Nussinson, Liat Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Metamemory judgments may rely on 2 bases of information: subjective experience and abstract theories about memory. On the basis of construal level theory, we predicted that psychological distance and construal level (i.e., concrete vs. abstract thinking) would have a qualitative impact on the relative reliance on these 2 bases: When considering learning from proximity or under a low-construal mindset, learners would rely more heavily on their experience, whereas when considering learning from a distance or under a high-construal mindset, they would rely more heavily on their abstract theories. Consistent with this prediction, results of 2 experiments revealed that temporal distance (Experiment 1) and construal level (Experiment 2) affected the stability bias-the failure to predict the benefits of learning. When considering learning from proximity or using a low-construal mindset, participants relied less heavily on their theory regarding the benefits of learning and were therefore insensitive to future learning. However, when considering learning from temporal distance or using a high-construal mindset, participants relied more heavily on their theory and were therefore better able to predict the benefits of future learning, thus overcoming the stability bias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1621-1627
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Construal level theory
  • Ease of processing
  • Metacognition
  • Metamemory
  • Stability bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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