The study of the feeling of knowing may have implications for some of the metatheoretical issues concerning consciousness and control. Assuming a distinction between information-based and experience-based metacognitive judgments, it is argued that the sheer phenomenological experience of knowing (''noetic feeling'') occupies a unique role in mediating between implicit-automatic processes, on the one hand, and explicit-controlled processes, on the other. Rather than reflecting direct access to memory traces, noetic feelings are based on inferential heuristics that operate implicitly and unintentionally. Once (...) such heuristics give rise to a conscious feeling that feeling can then affect controlled action. Examination of the cues that affect noetic feelings suggest that not only do these feelings inform controlled action, but they are also informed by feedback from the outcome of that action. (shrink)
The relationship between metacognition and mindreading was investigated by comparing the monitoring of one’s own learning and another person’s learning . Previous studies indicated that in self-paced study judgments of learning for oneself are inversely related to the amount of study time invested in each item. This suggested reliance on the memorizing-effort heuristic that shorter ST is diagnostic of better recall. In this study although an inverse ST–JOL relationship was observed for Self, it was found for Other only when the (...) Other condition followed the Self condition. The results were interpreted in terms of the proposal that the processes underlying experience-based metacognitive judgments are largely unconscious. However, participants can derive insight from observing themselves as they monitor their own learning, and transfer that insight to Other, thus exhibiting a shift from experience-based to theory-based judgments. Although different processes mediate metacognition and mindreading, metacognition can inform mindreading. (shrink)
The study of memory is witnessing a spirited clash between proponents of traditional laboratory research and those advocating a more naturalistic approach to the study of “real-life” or “everyday” memory. The debate has generally centered on the “what”, “where”, and “how” of memory research. In this target article, we argue that the controversy discloses a further, more fundamental breach between two underlying memory metaphors, each having distinct implications for memory theory and assessment: Whereas traditional memory research has been dominated by (...) thestorehousemetaphor, leading to a focus on thenumberof items remaining in store and accessible to memory, the recent wave of everyday memory research has shifted toward acorrespondencemetaphor, focusing on theaccuracyof memory in representing past events. The correspondence metaphor calls for a research approach that differs from the traditional one in important respects: in emphasizing the intentional –representational function of memory, in addressing the wholistic and graded aspects of memory correspondence, in taking an output-bound assessment perspective, and in allowing more room for the operation of subject-controlled metamemory processes and motivational factors. This analysis can help tie together soine of the what, where, and how aspects of the “real-life/laboratory” controversy. More important, however, by explicating the unique metatheoretical foundation of the accuracy-oriented approach to memory we aim to promote a more effective exploitation of the correspondence metaphor inbothnaturalistic and laboratory research contexts. (shrink)
In this rejoinder we clarify several issues raised by the commentators with the hope of resolving some disagreements. In particular, we address the distinction between information-based and experience-based metacognitive judgments and the idea that memory monitoring may be mediated by direct access to internal representations. We then examine the possibility of unconscious metacognitive processes and expand on the critical role that conscious metacognitive feelings play in mediating between unconscious activations and explicit-controlled action. Finally, several open questions are articulated for further (...) scrutiny. (shrink)
Philosophers commonly define knowledge as justified true beliefs. A heated debate exists, however, about what makes a belief justified. In this article, we examine the question of belief justification from a psychological perspective, focusing on the subjective confidence in a belief that the person has just formed. Participants decided whether to accept or reject a proposition depicting a social belief, and indicated their confidence in their choice. The task was repeated six times, and choice latency was measured. The results were (...) analyzed within a Self-Consistency Model of subjective confidence. According to SCM, the decision to accept or reject a proposition is based on the on-line sampling of representations from a pool of representations associated with the proposition. Respondents behave like intuitive statisticians who infer the central tendency of a population based on a small sample. Confidence depends on the consistency with which the belief was supported across the sampled representations, and reflects the likelihood that a new sample will yield the same decision. The results supported the assumption of a commonly shared population of representations associated with each proposition. Based on this assumption, analyses of within-person consistency and cross-person consensus provided support for the model. As expected, choices that deviated from the person’s own modal judgment or from the consensually held judgment took relatively longer to form and were associated with relatively lower confidence, presumably because they were based on non-representative samples. The results were discussed in relation to major epistemological theories – foundationalism, coherentism and reliabilism. (shrink)
In response to Cohen, we point out that many of the assessment difficulties raised by the correspondence metaphor stem from the assessment of memory in meaningful, real-life contexts rather than from the assessment of memory accuracy per se; these difficulties are equally troublesome for the assessment of memory quantity in such contexts. Moreover, the need to focus on particular aspects of memory performance – correspondence-oriented or quantity-oriented – does not preclude the development of useful and general theoretical models. In response (...) to Shanon, we argue that (1) the distinction between the correspondence and storehouse metaphors of memory is metatheoretical, not substantive or methodological, (2) the correspondence metaphor is compatible with both a “representationalist” view of memory and a more “direct” view, and (3) as an epistemological strategy, metaphorical pluralism is both acceptable and desirable. (shrink)
Our response to the commentators covers four general issues: How useful is our proposed conceptualization of the real-life/laboratory controversy in terms of the contrast between the correspondence and storehouse metaphors? What is the relationship between these two metaphors? What are the unique implications of the correspondence metaphor for memory assessment and theory? What are the nature and role of memory metaphors in memory research? We stress that the correspondence metaphor can be usefully exploited independent of the real-life/laboratory controversy, but that (...) a variety of other metaphors, including the storehouse, should also be utilized in order to more fully capture the myriad facets and functions of memory in everyday life. (shrink)
Smith et al. show that monkeys and dolphins can respond adaptively under conditions of uncertainty, suggesting that they monitor subjective uncertainty and control their behavior accordingly. Drawing on our own work with humans on the strategic regulation of memory reporting, we argue that, so far, the distinction between monitoring and control has not been addressed sufficiently in metacognitive animal research.
Glenberg provides a new and exciting view that is especially useful for capturing some functional aspects of memory. However, memory and its functions are too multifarious to be handled by any one conceptualization. We suggest that Glenberg's proposal be restricted to its own “focus of convenience.” In addition, its value will ultimately depend on its success in generating detailed and testable theories.