Remembering the Grocery Shopping List: A Study on Metacognitive Biases

Giuliana Mazzoni, Cesare Cornoldi, Lucia Tomat, Tomaso Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three experiments examined the influence on memory monitoring and memory control of typicality and frequency of purchase of grocery items. On the basis of normative data, food items were divided into three categories: T+F+ (items typically bought in an Italian food store, and of frequent purchase for university students), T+F- (items typical but not frequently purchased) and T-F- (items low in both characteristics). Experiment 1 revealed that despite an equal recall of the three categories of items, ease of learning judgments were significantly lower for T-F- items. In Experiments 2 and 3, T-F- items were also treated differently than the two other types, when subjects had to decide which items to select for an additional check, and when they had to apportion their study time. Overall, data show that biases independent of the memory state of an item can influence memory monitoring. In addition, the same biases appear to influence the cognitive behaviour, suggesting that monitoring can have an impact on subsequent cognitive behaviour independent of the memorization processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-267
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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