The strategic regulation of memory reporting: Mechanisms and performance consequences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In most real-life memory situations, as opposed to traditional laboratory settings, people have a great deal of freedom to control their memory reporting in accordance with personal and situational goals. For instance, they may choose to report only information they feel sure about, or they may choose to answer at a level of generality where they are unlikely to be wrong. In the present chapter, we focus on these two types of metamnemonic control, examining both their underlying mechanisms and their consequences for memory performance. We first describe a theoretical framework developed in our previous work (Koriat and Goldsmith 1996c) that addresses the monitoring and control processes underlying the decision to volunteer or withhold particular items of information in free-report situations. Simulation and empirical results demonstrate the critical role of these processes in allowing rememberers to strategically regulate the amount and accuracy of reported information. We then show how this framework can be extended to address how people control the level of generality or "grain size" of the information they report. Preliminary results indicate that here, too, people utilize their monitoring and control processes in a strategic manner, taking into account competing demands for both accuracy and informativeness. Finally, we discuss the more general implications of our work, and how it may be applied to the study, assessment, and enhancement of memory performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-400
Number of pages29
JournalAttention and Performance
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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