Before we discuss the relevant variants of metacognitive knowledge in more detail, we first outline in some detail the inferential processes we assume to operate.

The Logic of Attributional Inferences

A rather diverse body of research in social and cognitive psychology has formed our framework for thinking about inferences that we assume people draw in making memory judgments. As mentioned before, we adopt an attributional perspective, which assumes that individuals attempt to impute causality to their own experiences. A number of researchers have extended the work of Schachter and Singer (1962) on the attributional malleability of emotions and have demonstrated that the attribution of feelings plays a crucial role in judgments and behaviors. Ross, Rodin, and Zimbardo (1969), for example, showed that participants' choice of a particular task depended on how they explained the experience of autonomic arousal that was elicited by the expectation of receiving electric shocks. When participants had no other explanation for their arousal, they chose to work on a task that would avoid the administration of the shocks. However, when it was suggested that a loud noise was the source of their unpleasant experience, a task was chosen that was associated with external rewards rather than with the avoidance of shock.