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Is there a G factor for metacognition? Correlations in retrospective metacognitive sensitivity across tasks

Mazancieux, A; Fleming, SM; Souchay, C; Moulin, CJA; (2020) Is there a G factor for metacognition? Correlations in retrospective metacognitive sensitivity across tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 149 (9) pp. 1788-1799. 10.1037/xge0000746. Green open access

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Abstract

Is metacognition a general resource shared across domains? Previous research has documented consistent biases in judgments across tasks. In contrast, there is debate regarding the domain generality or the domain specificity of the ability to discriminate between correct and incorrect answers (metacognitive sensitivity) because most previous work has documented nonsignificant correlations across domains. However, such null findings may be due to low statistical power and differences in task structure or performance, thereby masking a latent domain generality in metacognition. We examined across-domain correlations in confidence level and sensitivity in a large sample (N = 181). Participants performed 4 2-alternative forced-choice tasks (episodic memory, semantic memory, executive function, and visual perception) with trial-by-trial confidence judgments. We found significant correlations in average confidence level across tasks. By applying a hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate cross-task covariance, we found five out 6 cross-task correlations in metacognitive efficiency (meta-d′/d′) were significant, even for pairs of tasks in which first-order performance was not correlated. This suggests that at least some components of metacognitive efficiency in retrospective confidence are domain general.

Type: Article
Title: Is there a G factor for metacognition? Correlations in retrospective metacognitive sensitivity across tasks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xge0000746
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000746
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
Keywords: metacognition, metamemory, monitoring, confidence judgments, domain-general processes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109277
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