Implicit Memory and Metacognition

By Lynne M. Reder | Go to book overview

chapter 13
Memory Attributions: Remembering, Knowing, and Feeling of Knowing

Colleen M. Kelley Macalester College

Larry L. Jacoby MacMaster University

Over the last several years, much of our research has been aimed at uncovering the bases for the subjective experience of memory and devising methods to separately measure those bases. We have been particularly interested in the effects of implicit memory or automatic influences of memory on judgments. How does that work relate to questions about metacognition? After agreeing to write this chapter, we went through a long period thinking the answer was "it doesn't." As the deadline for the chapter drew near, we became more creative (desperate?) in our analysis, and have now arrived at the position that metacognition and implicit memory are so similar as to not be separate topics. Questions concerning awareness are central for both metacognition and for implicit memory.

We first describe our analysis of the fluency heuristic: the notion that one basis for the feeling of familiarity is the ease of perceiving events or retrieving ideas. We describe experiments that manipulated fluency to create illusions of memory, and other experiments that manipulated fluency via providing past experiences to create illusions of perception, fame, knowing, and believing. The misinterpretation of effects of past experience shapes current subjective experience, which can influence people's predictions for others as well as for themselves. Some of those experiments could be described either as investigations of implicit memory or as investigations of metacognition.

Next, we argue that the problems that arise when one attempts to separate different bases for judgments are relevant to questions about

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