Metaconfidence Judgments in Rhesus Macaques: Explicit Versus Implicit Mechanisms

Lisa K. Son and Nate Kornell

in The Missing Link in Cognition

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161564
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848386 | DOI:
Metaconfidence Judgments in Rhesus Macaques: Explicit Versus Implicit Mechanisms

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The chapter shows a paradigm that has the potential to reveal true metacognition in animals. The main controversies surrounding Smith's paradigm centered on whether what he referred to as metacognitive judgments were simply judgments of extant stimuli that are present when the subject responds uncertain. By using a modified version of the match-to-sample paradigm, this chapter shows that the star monkey in the experiment was able to make valid metacognitive judgments. The chapter outlines a framework that makes tests for memory awareness in nonhumans possible and describes some of the behaviors of nonhuman behavior that are difficult to explain. There are both conceptual and experimental issues regarding the validity of the concept of memory awareness in nonhuman animals. It will always remain a matter of conjecture whether monkeys experience conscious states of knowing like humans. There is a need to put aside introspection, treat self-reflection as a biological mechanism and focus on what self-reflect.

Keywords: metacognitin; metacognitive judgments; monkey; memory awareness; experimental issues; self-reflection; biological mechanism

Chapter.  10114 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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