Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Current theories suggest that metacognitive skills are an important aspect of effective studying. However, few learning and study questionnaires assess the metacognitive components of studying and those that do often assume that certain strategies are more appropriate than others, regardless of the person or the task. The questionnaire developed in this research was designed to measure the metacognitive elements of study strategies, regardless of the type of strategies used. This questionnaire should provide additional information regarding a person's metacognitive skills, beyond what is assessed by other measures of studying ability.

The new questionnaire (Metacognitive Elements of Study Scale; MESS) was designed based on three theoretical constructs: (a) Knowledge of Self and Task, (b) Knowledge of Alternate Study Strategies, and (c) Self-Monitoring Ability. Statistical analyses did not support the proposed three-construct model. Therefore, a factor analysis of the MESS items was performed, resulting in two viable scales: (a) Prediction and Planning, and (b) Study Techniques and Their Control. The two-scale solution is consistent with some theoretical models of metacognitive skill (Flavell, 1978; Schraw, 1994; Tei & Stewart, 1985). The revised MESS (based on the 20 items that loaded highly on either factor) demonstrated adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability.

Validity of the MESS was assessed using research participants' grade point averages (GPA's) and their performance on another measure of learning, the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Scores on the MESS factors were significantly correlated with GPA, as well as with similar constructs on the MSLQ. Additionally, hierarchical regression analyses indicated that the MESS accounts for a significant amount of the variance in GPA not accounted for by either American College Testing (ACT) scores or MSLQ scores.

It may be possible to use the MESS to identify college students with deficits in metacognitive ability. Once identified, those students may benefit from training programs aimed at improving metacognitive skills. Current literature regarding the effectiveness of such programs is discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons