The subjective confidence in one's knowledge and judgements: Some metatheoretical considerations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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 ofrepresentations 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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoundations of Metacognition
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191745867
ISBN (Print)9780199646739
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©Oxford University Press, 2014.


  • Calibration of confidence judgments
  • Consensuality principle
  • Metacognition
  • Noetic feelings
  • Self-consistency
  • Subjective confidence
  • Unconscious heuristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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