The easily learned, easily remembered heuristic in children

Asher Koriat, Rakefet Ackerman, Kathrin Lockl, Wolfgang Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A previous study with adults [Koriat, A. (2008a). Easy comes, easy goes? The link between learning and remembering and its exploitation in metacognition. Memory & Cognition, 36, 416-428] established a correlation between learning and remembering: items requiring more trials to acquisition (TTA) were less likely to be recalled than those requiring fewer trials. Furthermore, learners' judgments of learning (JOLs) seemed to rely on the easily learned, easily remembered (ELER) heuristic, that items requiring fewer TTAs are more likely to be recalled. This study extended investigation of these effects to 2nd- and 4th-grade children. When the list included hard and easy paired-associates (Experiment 1, N = 40, 7-10 years), recall and JOL decreased with increasing TTAs for both grades, supporting the validity of the ELER heuristic and its utilization in monitoring one's own learning. When presented only with hard pairs (Experiment 2, N = 60, 7-10 years), however, 4th graders' but not 2nd graders' JOLs evidenced reliance on this heuristic. The results suggest an early development of metacognitive heuristics that incorporate information about the links between characteristics of the encoding process and subsequent remembering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of a project supported by a grant from the German-Israel Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (Grant No. 942-332.4/2006) and by the Max Wertheimer Minerva Center for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance at the University of Haifa. We are grateful to the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture for approval of the project. We thank Rinat Gil and Dana Klein for their help in all phases of this study. We are grateful to Janet Metcalfe, Roddy Roediger, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments to an earlier draft.


  • Judgments of learning
  • Learning
  • Metacognitive development
  • Metacognitive heuristics
  • Metamemory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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