Optimizing Cue Use in Student Restudy Decisions

AbstractIt is believed that decisions about what information needs additional study before an upcoming exam are dependent upon metacognitive processes. While a great deal of research has explored these processes, far less work has explored how to optimize restudy decisions. In the present study we examined both what cues are most predictive of future retrieval and test two potential ways of nudging learners to use these cues when making their restudy decisions. All methods and analyses were pre-registered on the Open Science Framework. Assessment of cue-utilization revealed that pre-judgment recall accuracy and pre-judgment retrieval latency, but not stimulus font size, predicted future retrieval. Additionally, both feedback about pre-judgment retrieval accuracy and having participants make retrospective confidence judgments led learners to more heavily weigh prejudgment retrieval accuracy when making their restudy decisions. This increase in relevant cue use, however, did not carry over into more accurate restudy decisions. These findings suggest that subtle manipulations can push learners to utilize more appropriate cues when making their restudy decisions.

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