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Metamemory refers to people’s beliefs about their memory and to how people monitor and control their learning and retrieval. In this chapter, we describe monitoring and control processes involved in learning and retrieval, how these processes have been measured, and key outcomes relevant to human metamemory. Based on these outcomes, general conclusions include the following: (a) people’s judgments of their memory are based on a variety of cues; hence (b) judgment accuracy arises from the diagnosticity of the cues, so that above-chance accuracy of any metamemory judgment only arises when the available cues are predictive (or diagnostic) of criterion performance; and finally, (c) people use their memory judgments to guide their study and retrieval. Thus, people’s memory monitoring plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness of their self-regulated learning and retrieval, so a major aim of metamemory research is to discover techniques that yield high levels of judgment accuracy and optimal regulation.

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"Metamemory" by John Dunlosky and Keith W. Thiede (pp. 283-298) is from The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology, edited by Daniel Reisberg (2013), is reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195376746.013.0019