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Title:Failure to update metacognitive control in response to expected retention intervals
Author(s):Fiechter, Joshua L.
Advisor(s):Benjamin, Aaron S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
decision making
Abstract:To effectively allocate encoding resources, learners should take into account how long they need to retain information before it will be needed. Four experiments investigated whether expected retention intervals affect subjects’ encoding strategies. Subjects studied paired associates consisting of words from the Graduate Record Exam and a synonym. They were told to expect a test on a word pair after either a short or a longer interval. Subjects were tested on most pairs after the expected retention interval. On some pairs, however, subjects were tested after the other retention interval, allowing for a comparison of performance at a given retention interval conditional upon the expected retention interval. No effect of expected retention interval was found for 1 minute versus 4 minutes (Experiment 1), 30 seconds versus 3 minutes (Experiment 2), for 30 seconds versus 10 minutes (Experiments 3 and 4), and even when subjects were given complete control over the pacing of study items (Experiment 4). Subjects completed a study strategy questionnaire after Experiments 3 and 4 that indicated that these null effects were not due to unsuccessful strategy implementation; subjects appear to have adopted nearly identical learning strategies for the two intervals. This set of results accords with much of the test-expectancy literature, in which subjects rarely make qualitative adjustments to their encoding strategies based on expected test features. A Bayesian analysis provided strong evidence to suggest that learners fail to compensate for anticipated forgetting with differential encoding.
Issue Date:2015-07-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Joshua Fiechter
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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