Chapter

The subjective confidence in one’s knowledge and judgements: some metatheoretical considerations

Asher Koriat

in Foundations of Metacognition

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646739
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745867 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646739.003.0014
The subjective confidence in one’s knowledge and judgements: some metatheoretical considerations

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This chapter examines a recent model of the basis and accuracy of confidence judgements (Koriat 2012), focusing on the metatheoretical assumptions underlying the model. According to the self-consistency model (SCM), when participants must choose between two alternative answers to a question, they retrieve a sample of representations of the question and base their confidence on the consistency with which the chosen answer is supported across representations. Self-consistency represents a crude mnemonic cue that reflects the amount of deliberation and conflict experienced in making a choice. Although information is retrieved from within, the process is assumed to have much in common with the sampling of observations from the outside world to test a hypothesis about a population and to assess the likelihood that the conclusion reached is correct. Thus, subjective confidence is modelled by the logic underlying the calculation of statistical level of confidence, and represents the assessed likelihood that a new sample of representations will yield the same choice. Several predictions regarding the basis of confidence judgements were confirmed for general-information tasks and perceptual judgements, and for social beliefs and social attitudes. The confidence — accuracy correlation was shown to be a by-product of the consistency — correctness relationship: it is positive only when the consistently selected answer is correct but is negative when the consistently selected answer is wrong. The results support the idea that metaknowledge is intimately tied to knowledge.

Keywords: metacognition; self-consistency; subjective confidence; noetic feelings; unconscious heuristics; consensuality principle; calibration of confidence judgments

Chapter.  12044 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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