Comparative difficulty and the strategic regulation of accuracy: The impact of test-list context on monitoring and meta-metacognition

Michelle Arnold, Toby Prike

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    A growing body of research has shown that context manipulations can have little or no impact on accuracy performance, yet still significantly influence metacognitive performance. For example, participants in a test-list context paradigm study one list of words with a medium levels-of-processing task and a second word list with either a shallow or deep task: Recognition for medium words does not differ across conditions, however medium words are significantly more likely to be labeled as "remembered" (vs. merely familiar) if they had been studied with a shallow word list (Bodner & Lindsay, 2003). The goal of the current studies was to extend the test-list context paradigm to strategic regulation (report/withhold recognition test), and broaden it to incorporate different types of stimuli (i.e., face stimuli in place of a medium word list). The paradigm also was modified to include separate answer (studied/new) confidence and decision (report/withhold) confidence ratings at test. Results showed that context did not impact recognition accuracy for faces across the context conditions, however participants were more likely to report (i.e., volunteer) their face responses if they had studied the shallow word list. The results also demonstrated a difference between answer confidence and decision confidence, and the pattern of this difference depended on whether responses were reported or withheld (Experiment 1). Overall, the data are presented as support for the functional account of memory, which views memory states as inferential and attributional rather than static categories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-163
    Number of pages9
    JournalActa Psychologica
    Issue numberMay 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


    • Comparative difficulty
    • Confidence
    • Context
    • Meta-metacognition
    • Recognition
    • Strategic regulation


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