Ida-Maria Skavhaug, Edward L. Wilding, David I. Donaldson



Publication year



Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

Periodical Number






Author Address

Skavhaug, Ida-Maria: Autonomous System & Control Applications Laboratory (RASCAL), Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Bainer Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, US, 95616,

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Judgments of learning (JOLs) are assessments of how well materials have been learned. Although a wide body of literature has demonstrated a reliable correlation between memory performance and JOLs, relatively little is known about the nature of this link. Here, we investigate the relationship between JOLs and the memory retrieval processes engaged on a subsequent memory test. Participants first studied cue-target word pairs and assigned JOLs to each. Later, memory for the cue word in each pair was assessed using an old/new recognition memory task, and electrophysiological measures of familiarity and recollection were examined. Recognition accuracy was superior for materials given high rather than low JOLs. Analysis of event-related potentials (ERPs) revealed that for both high and low JOL items, successful recognition elicited correlates of familiarity (the mid-frontal effect) and recollection (the left-parietal effect). Importantly, however, the magnitude of the familiarity correlate was equal for high and low JOL items, whereas the magnitude of the recollection correlate was significantly larger for items given high JOLs. These findings demonstrate that JOLs made at study correlate with memory retrieval at test but that this correlation is specific to recollection. The electrophysiological data support the broader view that participants focus on contextual cues when making JOLs, which may later aid recollection. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)