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A metamemory perspective on odor naming and identification
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 30, no 4, 353-365 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A metacognitive perspective is utilized to elucidate why it is so difficult to name common odors and what characterizes the subjective knowledge people have about their actual odor knowledge. Odor-naming failures are often accompanied by strong feelings of knowing (FOK) or feelings of imminent retrieval of what it is that smells. The paper's two experiments investigate FOK judgements and tip of the tongue (TOT) experiences for odor and person names. The data indicate that our inability to correctly name odors are typically not due to the often proposed uniquely poor association between odors and their proper names, but rather due to failures to identify the odors, that is, failures to know 'what it is'. It was also found that (i) TOT experiences are very unusual for odor names and more so than for person names; (ii) FOK judgements about odor names are significantly less predictive of later retrieval than equivalent judgements about names of persons; (iii) FOK judgements were highly correlated with the familiarity of the cue (odor or picture of famous person), rendering some support for the idea that FOK judgements are based on the perceived familiarity of the cue triggering the FOK; and (iv) the idea that FOK judgements are based on the amount of available information about the sought-for memory (accessibility theory) was also supported.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 30, no 4, 353-365 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Recall/*physiology, Odors, Pattern Recognition; Visual/*physiology, Photic Stimulation, Recognition (Psychology)/*physiology, Research Support; Non-U.S. Gov't, Smell/*physiology
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93138DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bji030PubMedID: 15821260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-93138DiVA: diva2:166524
Available from: 2005-04-29 Created: 2005-04-29 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Olfactory Metacognition: A Metamemory Perspective on Odor Naming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Olfactory Metacognition: A Metamemory Perspective on Odor Naming
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although many aspects of odor naming have received attention during the years, the participants' own cognitions (metamemory) about their naming attempts have not. (i) We showed that feeling of knowing (FOK) judgments accompanying odor naming failures are predictive of later recognition (Study I) or retrieval (Study III) of the missing name, but to a lesser degree than equivalent judgments about names of persons. “Tip of the nose” (TON) experiences do predict later odor name recall (Study I), but are otherwise poorly related to any partial activation of other information associated with the odor. (ii) We evaluated two theories proposed to explain the underlying basis of FOK judgments. Correlational analysis showed that FOK judgments about odor names are related to the perceived familiarity of the cue triggering the FOK (cue familiarity theory; Study III). FOK judgments are based on the amount of available information about the sought-for memory (accessibility theory; Study I and III). (iii) We demonstrated that the participants are overconfident in their odor naming attempts (Study I and II). This may to some degree be due to the arousing properties of the odors (Study II), suggesting that emotional variables should be taken into account when researching metamemory. (iv) Our inability to correctly name odors are typically not due to an uniquely poor association between odors and their proper names, but rather due to failures to identify the odors (Study III), that is, failures to retrieve “what it is”. It was also found that TOT experiences are unusual for odor names and more so than for person names. (v) We discuss potential differences between olfactory metamemory and metamemory for other modalities. The TON experience differs from the tip of the tongue (TOT) experience and the predictive validity is lower for metamemory judgments about odor names compared to other modalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 57 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 6
Keyword
Psychology, odor identification, odor naming, metamemory, confidence, tip of the tongue experience, tip of the nose experience, feeling of knowing, Psykologi
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5821 (URN)91-554-6269-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-06-03, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-04-29 Created: 2005-04-29Bibliographically approved

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