New manipulations to test stability bias and ease of processing effect on metamemory

Veneta Callpani | Lehman College| |Cognitive Psychology| |12/14/2020|


We expanded the research about the ease of processing and the stability bias by testing new manipulations. It was expected that the high frequency words would be perceived as easier and more memorable, and the study repetition would be underestimated because of the belief that memory is more stable than it actually is therefore the words shown twice had no effect on the students prediction but they had an effect in actual recall. The data is consistent with the stability bias hypothesis, where the average difference between the predicted and actual recall was reliable. This supports the previous research (Kornell, Rodhes et al., 2011). However, our data is not consistent with the previous research (e.g., Carpenter et al., 2013) regarding the easy of processing.  The prediction was that ease of process would affect the recall but not the actual performance, but our data shows that it actually had an effect on the actual performance. One reason for this new finding might be the presence of non-native English speakers. There is a probability that some words were new for the non-native speakers therefore their memory for those words wouldn’t be as good. This effect was not captured in our experiment due to the small sample size (which might be another reason for the inconsistent result compared to other research), but further studies can be done in the future to determine the difference between the non-native English speakers and native speakers. This would aid in the study of how language affects memory.


       Besken, M., & Mulligan, N. W. (2013). Easily perceived, easily remembered? Perceptual interference produces a double dissociation between metamemory and memory performance. Memory & cognition41(6), 897–903.

       Carpenter, S. K., Wilford, M. M., Kornell, N., & Mullaney, K. M. (2013). Appearances can be deceiving: instructor fluency increases perceptions of learning without increasing actual learning. Psychonomic bulletin & review20(6), 1350–1356.

       Kornell, N., Rhodes, M. G., Castel, A. D., & Tauber, S. K. (2011). The ease-of-processing heuristic and the stability bias: dissociating memory, memory beliefs, and memory judgments. Psychological science22(6), 787–794.

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