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Adult age differences in the realism of confidence judgments: overconfidence, format dependence, and cognitive predictors
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: Psychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, E-ISSN 1939-1498, Vol. 23, no 3, 531-544 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Realistic confidence judgments are essential to everyday functioning, but few studies have addressed the issue of age differences in overconfidence. Therefore, the authors examined this issue with probability judgment and intuitive confidence intervals in a sample of 122 healthy adults (ages:

35-40, 55-60, 70-75 years). In line with predictions based on the naïve sampling model (P. Juslin, A. Winman, & P. Hansson, 2007), substantial format dependence was observed, with extreme overconfidence when confidence was expressed as an intuitive confidence interval but not when confidence was expressed as a probability judgment. Moreover, an age-related increase in overconfidence was selectively observed when confidence was expressed as intuitive confidence intervals. Structural equation modeling indicated that the age-related increases in overconfidence were mediated by a general cognitive ability factor that may reflect executive processes. Finally, the results indicated that part of the negative influence of increased age on general ability may be compensated for by an age-related increase in domain-relevant knowledge.(c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 23, no 3, 531-544 p.
Keyword [en]
adult age difference, overconfidence, probability judgment, cognitive predictors
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11289DOI: 10.1037/a0012782OAI: diva2:150960
Available from: 2008-12-08 Created: 2008-12-08 Last updated: 2011-01-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A naïve sampling model of intuitive confidence intervals
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A particular field in research on judgment and decision making (JDM) is concerned with realism of confidence in one’s knowledge. An interesting finding is the so-called format dependence effect, which implies that assessment of the same probability distribution generates different conclusions about over- or underconfidence depending on the assessment format. In particular, expressing a belief about some unknown continuous quantity (e.g., a stock value) in the form of an intuitive confidence interval is severely prone to overconfidence as compared to expressing the belief as an assessment of a probability judgment. This thesis gives a tentative account of this finding in terms of a Naïve Sampling Model, which assumes that people accurately describe their available information stored in memory, but they are naïve in the sense that they treat sample properties as proper estimators of population properties (Study 1). The effect of this naivety is directly investigated empirically in Study 2. A prediction that short-term memory is a constraining factor for sample size in judgment, suggesting that experience per se does not eliminate overconfidence is investigated and verified in Study 3. Age-related increments in overconfidence were observed with intuitive confidence interval but not for probability judgment (Study 4). This thesis suggests that no cognitive processing bias (e.g., Tversky & Kahneman, 1974) over and above naivety is needed to understand and explain the overconfidence “bias” with intuitive confidence interval and hence the format dependence effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Psykologi, 2007. 63 p.
overconfidence, subjective probability, sampling model, short-term memory, age-differences.
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1354 (URN)978-91-7264-368-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-10-05, Bt102, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00
Available from: 2007-09-17 Created: 2007-09-17 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved

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