The role of ease of retrieval and attribution in memory judgments: Judging Your Memory as Worse Despite Recalling More Events

Piotr Winkielman, Norbert Schwarz, Robert F. Belli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations


Participants who had to recall 12 childhood events (a difficult task) were more likely to infer that they could not remember large parts of their childhood than participants who had to recall 4 events (an easy task), although the former recalled three times as many events. This pattern of results suggests that memory judgments are based on the experienced ease or difficulty of recall. Accordingly, the negative impact of recalling 12 events was attenuated when participants were led to attribute the experienced difficulty to the task rather than to the poor quality of their memory. The findings emphasize the role of subjective experiences and attribution in metamemory judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-126
Number of pages3
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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