The Training of Metacognitive Monitoring in Children


The current research tested whether a monitoring ability could be improved above and beyond spontaneous development via explicit teaching. Participants (ages 5-6) were trained to monitor their memories by making confidence judgments through the process of placing bets. Following a picture memory task, participants made either high bets or low bets to indicate their confidence in their previous memory responses. Half of the participants were explicitly taught how to bet appropriately, whereas the other half was not. Two memory tasks tested the effects of training: A picture memory test and a transfer vocabulary procedure. Results showed that during training, participants learned to respond bet appropriately, demonstrating a general monitoring ability. More critically, during testing and transfer, participants in the explicitly taught condition were superior at selective betting to children who were not explicitly trained.