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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Theories of metamemory are primarily concerned with mechanisms that improve memory; they do not account for processes that reduce accessibility of unwanted information, as in intentional forgetting. The chapter proposes that introducing separate terms like metaremembering and metaforgetting highlights the distinction between remembering and forgetting as different dimensions of memory. It reviews empirical evidence from directed forgetting studies. List-method directed forgetting depends on engaging active forgetting strategies, indicating the importance of control in successful intentional forgetting. The decision to engage in forgetting strategies, in turn, is affected by memory monitoring as evidenced through preexisting confidence about one’s own memory ability, as well as judgments of learning solicited during the task. In item-method directed forgetting, participants control rehearsal by selectively retrieving earlier items believed to be more memorable, even when such beliefs are illusory. The chapter discusses the role of metacognitive monitoring and control in these active forms of forgetting.

Keywords: directed forgetting, DF, intentional forgetting, metamemory, metaforgetting

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