About the lab
The MAPLE (Memory And Psycholinguistics in Learning & Education) Lab at the University of Pittsburgh investigates (a) how linguistic cues in text and speech contribute to our long-term learning and, in turn, how our long-term experience affects online language processing, and (b) how our metacognition, or awareness of our own learning and reasoning, contributes to these processes. We're also excited by how interventions such as intelligent tutoring systems can enhance language skills by providing relevant language experience.
Featured research (1)
How do learners make decisions about how, what, and when to study, and why are their decisions sometimes ineffective for learning? In three studies, learners experienced a pair of contrasting study strategies (Study 1: interleaved vs. blocked schedule; Studies 2 & 3: retrieval practice vs. restudy) and rated their perceptions of each strategy before choosing one for future use. In all three studies, mediation analysis revealed that participants who perceived a strategy as more effortful rated it as less effective for learning and, in turn, were less likely to choose it for future study. Further, choosing the more effortful strategy was associated with better long-term retention (Study 3), contrary to participants' judgments. A final fourth study suggested that these relationships were not driven by the mere act of providing ratings. Our results thus support a misinterpreted-effort hypothesis in which the mental effort associated with many normatively effective learning strategies (desirable difficulties; Bjork & Bjork, 1992) leads learners to misinterpret them as ineffective for learning and consequently not to employ them in self- regulated learning.