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The Perceptual and Social Components of Metacognition

Pescetelli, N; Rees, G; Bahrami, B; (2016) The Perceptual and Social Components of Metacognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 145 (8) pp. 949-965. 10.1037/xge0000180. Green open access

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Abstract

When deciding whether or not to bring an umbrella to work, your confidence will be influenced by the sky outside the window (direct evidence) as well as by, for example, whether or not people walking in the street have their own umbrella (indirect or contingent evidence). These 2 distinct aspects of decision confidence have not yet been assessed independently within the same framework. Here we study the relative contributions of stimulus-specific and social-contingent information on confidence formation. Dyads of participants made visual perceptual decisions, first individually and then together by sharing their wagers in their decisions. We independently manipulated the sensory evidence and the social consensus available to participants and found that both type of evidence contributed to wagers. Consistent with previous work, the amount people were prepared to wager covaried with the strength of sensory evidence. However, social agreements and disagreement affected wagers in opposite directions and asymmetrically. These different contributions of sensory and social evidence to wager were linearly additive. Moreover, average metacognitive sensitivity—namely the association between wagers and accuracy—between interacting dyad members positively correlated with dyadic performance and dyadic benefit above average individual performance. Our results provide a general framework that accounts for how both social context and direct sensory evidence contribute to decision confidence.

Type: Article
Title: The Perceptual and Social Components of Metacognition
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xge0000180
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000180
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: Social Sciences, Psychology, Experimental, Psychology, collective decision making, metacognition, social interaction, COLLECTIVE DECISION-MAKING, SIGNAL-DETECTION, INTERACTING MINDS, 2 HEADS, CONFIDENCE, MODELS, CHOICE, DISCRIMINATION, PROBABILITY, UNCERTAINTY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1504221
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