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Bias in Confidence: A Critical Test for Discrete-State Models of Change Detection

Winiger, S; Singmann, H; Kellen, D; (2020) Bias in Confidence: A Critical Test for Discrete-State Models of Change Detection. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition 10.1037/xlm0000959. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Ongoing discussions on the nature of storage in visual working memory have mostly focused on 2 theoretical accounts: On one hand we have a discrete-state account, postulating that information in working memory is supported with high fidelity for a limited number of discrete items by a given number of "slots," with no information being retained beyond these. In contrast with this all-or-nothing view, we have a continuous account arguing that information can be degraded in a continuous manner, reflecting the amount of resources dedicated to each item. It turns out that the core tenets of this discrete-state account constrain the way individuals can express confidence in their judgments, excluding the possibility of biased confidence judgments. Importantly, these biased judgments are expected when assuming a continuous degradation of information. We report 2 studies showing that biased confidence judgments can be reliably observed, a behavioral signature that rejects a large number of discrete-state models. Finally, complementary modeling analyses support the notion of a mixture account, according to which memory-based confidence judgments (in contrast with guesses) are based on a comparison between graded, fallible representations, and response criteria.

Type: Article
Title: Bias in Confidence: A Critical Test for Discrete-State Models of Change Detection
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000959
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000959
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: visual working memory, change detection, critical test, discrete-state models, confidence
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/10114474
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