We remember events that happened many years ago, we have facts from different fields of knowledge and can recall an extensive foreign language vocabulary. At the same time, everyone is probably familiar with unpleasant memory errors: we forget a certain appointment, we do not need the name or password of a loose acquaintance that we have entered correctly several times. These strengths and weaknesses in our memory are closely linked to the knowledge we have about our own learning and remembering. So if you measure your memory limits correctly, you can prevent unpleasant situations by using assistive devices like shopping lists, notes or electronic calendars. Anyone who knows they have trouble remembering names may be careful to listen carefully when a new person is introduced to them. Anyone who feels like they can focus better in a calm environment can especially look for silence. And if you find that a certain learning strategy isn’t working well, you can try another, possibly more promising one.
People’s knowledge of memory processes and their own learning and recall has been referred to as meta memory since the 1970s and has been intensively researched in psychology, philosophy, education, and related disciplines (see “Brief explained”). A distinction is often made between three aspects of meta memory: the metacognitive knowledge, the metacognitive monitoring process, and the metacognitive control process. The former refers to conscious beliefs and thoughts about learning or remembering. These include common assumptions such as whether memory deteriorates with age or that copying vocabulary pairs is helpful when learning a foreign language. But the concepts that are related to one’s own learning and remembering are also related to this. For example, I know that I can learn very effectively while taking a walk, whereas it is difficult for me to remember new paths.
However, this metacognitive knowledge includes not only true, but also false beliefs. An example of this is the common but misconception that you will be extremely successful in the exam if & nbsp, …
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