The influence of metamemory on transfer and durability of memory tasks

Shelly Fatal, Shlomo Kaniel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    The present study focuses on the role of knowledge about metamemory vs. knowledge of specific memory strategies as a precursor of effective strategy development. The subjects were 165 12-year-olds, divided randomly into three instruction groups: metamemory, specific strategies and no-instruction. There were six memory tasks: (a) Word Lists (21 words assignable to 7 categories of 3); (b) 30 Hebrew-Hebrew Paired Associates; (c) 12 Hebrew-English Word Pairs; (d) one Complex Figure; (e) a 6-verse Biblical passage; (f) a 10-line poem. The metamemory group received instruction about memory processes, planning, monitoring and evaluation of memory strategies; these principles were demonstrated on one task. The specific strategies group received instruction pertaining to three tasks. The metamemory and specific strategies groups showed limited transfer and long term memory (durability) and did so in different tasks. The clearest advantage of the metamemory group over the specific strategy group was in process measurements. Future research must examine the history of learners' personal strategies, their pre- and post-instruction use, and the relevance of metamemory principles to different levels of task difficulty.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-102
    Number of pages12
    JournalLearning and Individual Differences
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1992


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