Investigating Metacognitive Control in a Global Memory Framework

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How does one learn? How does one remember? These are the broad questions that the Nelson and Narens (1990) research program addressed. Of course, they were not the first to ask these questions, but they did approach these questions in a novel way. The Nelson and Narens approach to understanding learning and memory can be viewed as an extension of Atkinson and Shiffrin’s (1968) proposal that memory consists of a set of memory structures and control processes. The memory structures are assumed to be used to support the performance of all learning and memory tasks, whereas control processes (e.g., rehearsal) are assumed to be strategically used to perform particular tasks. Many researchers have sought to understand the nature of the structural aspects of learning memory, and this has led to several formal models. Nelson and Narens, on the other hand, organized the prevalent measures and developed a framework that describes how the structural aspects of memory are monitored and controlled. It is a testament to the empirical richness of the Nelson and Narens metamemory framework that those modern researchers who investigate metamemory do so largely independently of those who investigate the structural aspects of memory (and vice versa). In this chapter, I consider how these two approaches to understanding learning and memory might be jointly used to build better models of learning and memory.

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Investigating Metacognitive Control in a Global Memory Framework, in J. Dunlosky & R. A. Bjork (Eds.), Handbook of Memory and Metacognition, Psychology Press, p. 265-283