Testing Judgments of Learning in New Contexts to Reduce Confidence Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition Students often prepare for exams by restudying slides or notes, but the familiarity of these repeatedly reinstated contexts may influence students to be unduly confident in their knowledge, and cease study prematurely. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of reinstatement of encoding contexts during delayed judgments of learning (JOLs) in a laboratory paradigm. At encoding, word pairs were superimposed over unrelated 5-s video contexts, with one video context per target. Delayed judgments of learning for cue–target pairs were given with encoding contexts either changed or reinstated. When the encoding context was changed, judgments of learning decreased relative to the reinstatement condition, without a concomitant decrease in recall (tested later with no context cues), thus producing a metamemory illusion. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated these results with different designs. Although context manipulations did not improve metacognitive accuracy, unfamiliar contexts reduced JOLs, a desirable impact that is associated with increased study choice.

altmetric score

  • 4.05

author list (cited authors)

  • Saenz, G. D., & Smith, S. M.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • December 2018