A comparison of adults' and childrens' metacognition for yes/no recognition decisions

Rachel Hiller, Nathan Weber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Basic metacognitive development research suggests that metacognitive abilities develop before adolescence. However, this research has not used tasks that require the discrimination of seen from unseen stimuli, an important element of real-world recognition tasks such as eyewitness identification. We tested the idea that children would be less able to monitor and control the accuracy of their memories in such a task. We used a word-pair recognition task to compare children's (109 8-12 year olds) and adult's (102 first-year psychology students) ability to adaptively make, monitor, and control the reporting of yes/no recognition decisions about familiar stimuli in a task with no demand effects. We found that adults were substantially better at discriminating old from new stimuli, but no evidence of an age difference in metacognitive ability. Although these results do not explain children's poor metacognition in eyewitness identification, they suggest potential steps to improve children's identification performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-191
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


    • Children
    • Confidence
    • Confidence-accuracy
    • Free-report
    • Monitoring and control
    • Recognition memory


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