Stability and variability in the realism of confidence judgments over time, content domain, and gender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study investigates the influence on the realism of confidence judgments of four different factors, the individual, the knowledge domain (crystallized and fluid intelligence), gender and cognitive style (Need-for-Cognition, NfC). Seventy-nine high-school students answered questions on word knowledge (WORD) and logical/spatial ability (DTK), both tests were administered on three occasions with two weeks between each trial. After each test question, each individual gave a confidence rating of his or her answer. The results showed some, but not perfect, individual stability. Furthermore, within-subject differences were found between domains (WORD/DTK); the participants showed better calibration and less overconfidence for the WORD-test as compared to the DTK-test. No stable gender differences were found for any of the two tests. Finally, the results show that having high NfC is not associated with better realism in confidence judgments. These results suggest that the realism of confidence judgments is, at least on the distal level, influenced by many different factors.


  • Anna-Carin Jonsson
  • Carl Martin Allwood
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • Cognitive style, Need-for-Cognition, Confidence, Metacognition, Calibration, Individual stability, Gender, Knowledge domain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-574
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch