We investigated the accuracy of predictions about semantic, environmental, and phonological cues for remembering. Subjects rated the pleasantness of 10 words in each of four rooms, predicted the number of words that they would recall with and without one of the three types of cues, and then were tested for free or cued recall. Consistent with their predictions, subjects who received semantic cues recalled more words than did subjects in the free-recall group. The subjects in the other cuing conditions did not benefit from the cues; furthermore, they overestimated the value of phonological cues, and they believed that environmental cues were ineffective. Finally, confidence ratings for cued-recall predictions did not reflect the pattern of cued-recall performance. Subjects were least confident about their predictions for semantic cuing and most confident about their predictions for recall to be cued phonologically.
Hertel, P.T., Anooshian, L.J., & Ashbrook, P.W. (1986). The accuracy of beliefs about retrieval cues. Memory & Cognition, 14(3), 265-269. doi: 10.3758/BF03197702
Memory & Cognition