Aspects of Memory Self-Evaluations
Researchers of memory self-evaluation have focused primarily on two types of awareness about memory.
The first type involves knowledge about how memory works and what we believe to be true about it; this type of self-evaluation is referred to as metamemory. For instance, we may know that recall is typically harder than recognition, that memory strategies are often helpful, and that working memory is not limitless. We may also believe that memory declines with age, that appointments are easier to remember than names, and that anxiety impairs performance. Metamemory is most often assessed with questionnaires that ask about these various facts and beliefs.
The second type of self-evaluation, called memory monitoring, refers to the awareness of what we are doing with our memory right now. We can be aware of the process of remembering in many ways. At times we know how we are studying, how we are searching for some particular fact, or how we are keeping track of time for an appointment. At other times we ask ourselves questions while doing a memory task. For example, when faced with having to remember an important appointment later in the day, we may consciously ask ourselves whether the steps we have taken (e. g., writing a note) are sufficient.