Does punishment temper overconfidence?


Threat of punishment makes us better judges of our own knowledge

There are some walks of life where trying to be right as often as possible is not enough. Just as important is having insight into the likely accuracy of your own knowledge. Think of doctors and surgeons making diagnostic decisions. They can’t be right all the time, and neither can they be completely certain over their judgments. What becomes important then, is that they have an accurate sense of the reliability of their own knowledge. Psychologists call this “metacognitive accuracy”. Michelle Arnold and her colleagues have performed the first ever test of whether people’s insight into the accuracy of their own knowledge is affected by whether they are tested under conditions of high reward for correct answers, or high penalties for wrong answers. ….[READ]


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