Metacognitive judgments of repetition and variability effects in natural concept learning: evidence for variability neglect
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In four experiments, we examined the effects of repetitions and variability on the learning of bird families and metacognitive awareness of such effects. Of particular interest was the accuracy of, and bases for, predictions regarding classification of novel bird species, referred to as category learning judgments (CLJs). Participants studied birds in high repetitions and high variability conditions. These conditions differed in the number of presentations of each bird (repetitions) and the number of unique species from each family (variability). After study, participants made CLJs for each family and were then tested. Results from a classification test revealed repetition benefits for studied species and variability benefits for novel species. In contrast with performance, CLJs did not reflect the benefits of variability. Results showed that CLJs were susceptible to accessibility-based metacognitive illusions produced by additional repetitions of studied items.
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