Metacognitive measures as predictors of accuracy in children

Ingham, Madeleine (2022). Metacognitive measures as predictors of accuracy in children. University of Birmingham. M.Sc.

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Children often witness or are victims of crimes and so are required to provide memory evidence in court. Age is often used as a proxy for memory accuracy, meaning that legal decision makers treat testimonies from young children as unreliable, resulting in miscarriages of justice. Across two experiments, we investigated if implicit metacognition measures (e.g., vocal and body gestures, response time, and decision to hide an answer) and explicit measures (e.g., confidence) can be used to better predict the memory accuracy of children between the ages of 4-8. Children encoded complex episodic events and completed a 2-alternative-forced- choice task, then completed two self-report scales to measure their level of uncertainty. Predictive measures of accuracy included confidence, response time, box sorting, hedges, and fillers. Confidence was the most informative predictor of memory accuracy for all ages, suggesting that explicit measures are more indicative of memory accuracy than implicit measures in children of this age range. Moreover, confidence was more predictive of memory accuracy than children’s age, suggesting that confidence can offer more information about children’s likely memory accuracy than children’s age. As such, these findings suggest that children in this age range have good metacognitive ability when encoding a complex memory, and that explicit measures of metacognition (i.e., confidence) and some implicit measures (i.e., response time, box sorting, hedges, and fillers) appear to be useful in predicting accuracy for children as young as 4.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Sc.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Sc.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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