Motivated comprehension regulation: Vigilant versus eager metacognitive control

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11 Scopus citations


The more accurately people assess their comprehension, the more likely they are to engage in study behaviors that precisely target gaps in their learning. However, comprehension regulation involves more than knowing when to implement a new study strategy; it also involves deciding which strategy will most effectively resolve one's confusion. In two experiments, we explored how people's motivational orientations influence which study strategies they select to regulate their comprehension. In Experiment 1, people who were motivated to vigilantly protect against potential mistakes (i.e., prevention-focused individuals) were more likely to adopt a rereading strategy than people who were motivated to eagerly pursue new learning opportunities (i.e., promotion-focused individuals). In Experiment 2, this difference in strategy use emerged specifically in response to confusing sentences that had been inserted into the text. Furthermore, by using rereading strategies to resolve their confusion, prevention-focused individuals performed better than promotion-focused individuals on a comprehension test and a transfer task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-795
Number of pages17
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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