Metacognitive Aspects of Face Identification

Title: Metacognitive Aspects of Face Identification
Authors: Watier, Nicholas
Date: 2012
Abstract: To date, relatively little research has investigated participants’ ability to monitor their memory for faces and names. Four experiments were conducted with aim of developing a comprehensive profile of memory monitoring performance during face identification tasks. In each experiment, memory monitoring judgements were solicited during encoding and/or retrieval of unfamiliar face-name pairs. In general, subjective estimates of future and past memory performance were valid predictors of objective memory performance, regardless of whether a face or name was the item to be retrieved from memory. As a test of the stability of memory monitoring accuracy across different categories of stimuli, memory monitoring for face-name pairs was compared with noun-noun pairs. The predictive validity of estimates of future memory performance was similar across the categories of stimuli, but the predictive validity of estimates of past memory performance was superior for nouns compared with names. A subset of the studies examined the influence of face and name distinctiveness on memory and memory monitoring for face-name associations. This was done in an attempt to identify sources of information that individuals might use to monitor their memory during face-name learning. The beneficial effects of distinctiveness on associative memory were symmetrical between faces and names, such that relative to their typical counterparts, distinct faces enhanced memory for names, and distinct names enhanced memory for faces. These effects were also apparent in memory monitoring. Estimates of future and past memory performance were greater for face-name associations that contained a distinct face or name compared with a typical face or name, regardless of whether the distinct item was a cue or target. Moreover, the predictive validity of prospective monitoring improved with name distinctiveness, whereas the predictive validity of retrospective monitoring improved with facial distinctiveness. Altogether, the results of the dissertation indicate that participants can monitor their memory for faces and names at a level above chance, that retrospective metamemory is more accurate for nouns compared with names, and that distinctiveness not only affects the strength of the association between a face and a name, but also the ability to monitor that association.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -