Electrodermal activity and metamemory reports as predictors of memory retrieval

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Flesch, Marie H.
Texas A&M University
metamemory; electrodermal activity; retrieval
book description
Electrodermal activity (EDA), an indicator of arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, was investigated as a potential correlate of feeling-of-knowing (FOK) and tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states. In Experiment 1, skin conductance was measured while participants answered general knowledge questions and made binary FOK and TOT judgments. Significant correlations were found between frequency of skin conductance responses (SCRs) and presence of both FOK and TOT states. In Experiment 2, warmth ratings were used and a follow-up clue session was added to offer participants the opportunity to resolve initially unanswered questions. SCR frequency during TOT states was significantly predictive of resolution during the clue period, although not as predictive as participants' warmth ratings. The potential of EDA as an on-line, non-intrusive measure of metamemory and memory retrieval is discussed.