Overconfidence: It Depends on How, What, and Whom You Ask.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Many studies have reported that the confidence people have in their judgments exceeds their accuracy and that overconfidence increases with the difficulty of the task. However, some common analyses confound systematic psychological effects with statistical effects that are inevitable if judgments are imperfect. We present three experiments using new methods to separate systematic effects from the statistically inevitable. We still find systematic differences between confidence and accuracy, including an overall bias toward overconfidence. However, these effects vary greatly with the type of judgment. There is little general overconfidence with two-choice questions and pronounced overconfidence with subjective confidence intervals. Over- and underconfidence also vary systematically with the domain of questions asked, but not as a function of difficulty. We also find stable individual differences. Determining why some people, some domains, and some types of judgments are more prone to overconfidence will be important to understanding how confidence judgments are made. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Klayman, J; Soll, JB; González-Vallejo, C; Barlas, S

Published Date

  • September 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 216 - 247

PubMed ID

  • 10471362

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1006/obhd.1999.2847


  • eng