Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Eakin, Deborah K.

Committee Member

Bradshaw, Gary

Committee Member

Moss, Jarrod

Committee Member

Herd, Wendy

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Cognitive Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Research has examined how encoding or retrieval factors affect metamemory. Few studies have manipulated both an encoding and a retrieval factor in the same paradigm. The current experiments examined which factor had a greater impact on metamemory when both were manipulated. Attention was manipulated during encoding and Retroactive Interference was manipulated at retrieval.Two lists of word pairs were studied, with the second list including both new pairs and cues from the first list re-paired with a new target. The attention manipulation occurred when studying the first list in which participants denoted when one tone sequence changed to another. Participants gave predictions about the likelihood of future recall of the original targets either immediately following study (JOL) or in a separate phase after studying all pairs (DJOL). The Modified Opposition Test (MOT) was used in which a hint was used to direct participants to the correct list for recall. After all pairs were studied and predicted, participants completed a cued-recall test. In Experiment 1, DJOLs were used because they are collected between encoding and retrieval. Both factors impacted memory, but DJOLs were only impacted by the retrieval factor. A dissociation between memory and metamemory under retroactive interference was expected and replicates prior research (Eakin, 2005). In Experiment 2, JOLs were added; JOLs are measured during the encoding phase, allowing the impact of the encoding factor to be observed. Replicating Experiment 1, memory was affected by both the encoding and retrieval factor, but JOLs were impacted by the retrieval factor. Another comparison using a standard cued-recall test instead of the MOT, showed that JOLs were no longer influenced by the retrieval factor, but they still did not vary with attention. The results conclusively suggest that metamemory was not based on encoding factors, even when the retrieval factor is not influencing the predictions. Koriat’s (1993, 1994) accessibility heuristic can explain these results. Predictions were based on how much information came to mind when the prediction is made, regardless of whether that information is correct. Furthermore, metamemory predictions are based on heuristics that do not always follow memory outcomes.