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Metacognitive monitoring of attention performance and its influencing factors

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Metacognitive monitoring is a central element of metacognitive processing exerting widespread influences on information processing. Albeit being subject to numerous empirical investigations referring to memory performance, there is little research investigating metacognitive monitoring in other cognitive domains. The present study investigated in 45 healthy students whether factors that are known to influence monitoring of memory performance, i.e. task difficulty, time of assessment, and practice, also exhibit a significant impact on monitoring of attention performance. A multivariate analysis of variance with three within-subject repeated measures factors on two dependent variables (monitoring of (a) time, and (b) errors in an attention task) was conducted. Results showed that monitoring ability significantly decreased with increasing task difficulty, was significantly better for post than for pre-assessment, and significantly increased with practice. Therefore, results suggest that the examined factors influenced monitoring of attention performance equivalent to the influence of these factors found in metamemory research.

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    Note that we included the most stringent correlation parameter of zero. Rerunning the power analysis with an expected intercorrelation >0 results in a smaller estimated sample size while simultaneously achieving the same power.


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Correspondence to Ramona Kessel.

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Kessel, R., Gecht, J., Forkmann, T. et al. Metacognitive monitoring of attention performance and its influencing factors. Psychological Research 78, 597–607 (2014).

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  • Completion Time
  • Memory Performance
  • Task Difficulty
  • Task Type
  • Attention Performance