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Stability and variability in the realism of confidence judgments over time, content domain, and gender

By Anna-Carin Jonsson and Carl Martin Allwood


This study investigates the influence on the realism of confidence judgments of four different factors, the individual, the knowledge domain (crystallized and fluid intelligence), gender and cognitive style (Need-for-Cognition, NfC). Seventy-nine high-school students answered questions on word knowledge (WORD) and logical/spatial ability (DTK), both tests were administered on three occasions with two weeks between each trial. After each test question, each individual gave a confidence rating of his or her answer. The results showed some, but not perfect, individual stability. Furthermore, within-subject differences were found between domains (WORD/DTK); the participants showed better calibration and less overconfidence for the WORD-test as compared to the DTK-test. No stable gender differences were found for any of the two tests. Finally, the results show that having high NfC is not associated with better realism in confidence judgments. These results suggest that the realism of confidence judgments is, at least on the distal level, influenced by many different factors

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive style, Need-for-Cognition, Confidence, Metacognition, Calibration, Individual stability, Gender, Knowledge domain
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00028-4
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