Date of Award

Summer 2023

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Stacey Wood

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Andrew R. A. Conway

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Lori E. James

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Yaniv Hanoch

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2023 David Hengerer


Confidence Judgments, Metamemorial Confidence, Metamemory

Subject Categories



Many studies of metamemorial confidence have found differences in calibration and resolution between two similar confidence judgments – judgments of learning (JOLs) and retrospective confidence judgments (RCJs). These findings have led to competing theories of the processes involved in JOLs and RCJs, and whether they make use of the same processes or different processes. This study critically tested two such explanations for JOLs and RCJs – the dual process descriptive model of confidence and the target accessibility model of confidence. Participants provided written justifications of their metamemorial confidence judgments for JOLs and RCJs for unrelated word-pairs. Justifications were analyzed using three different but complementary text data analyses – Latent semantic analysis, n-gram word frequency analysis, and support vector machine analysis – to determine whether both JOLs and RCJs utilize the dual process descriptive method, or if RCJs instead only utilize target accessibility. Results indicated that both JOL and RCJ justifications are characterized by a cue-familiarity check at lower levels of confidence and increasing amounts of partial target information as confidence increases. These findings support the dual process descriptive model of confidence, a model that states that confidence judgments are comprised of a cue-familiarity check followed by a retrieval attempt and associated partial target information. Additionally, results indicated that RCJ justifications made greater use of cue-based information than they did target-based information. This finding challenges theories that RCJs only utilize target accessibility as the source of metamemorial confidence and suggests other processes are involved.



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