Metacognition and decision making : a Brunswikian analysis
Schaefer, Peter Samuel
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Cognitive Continuum Theory (Hammond et al., 1987) posits that differing task characteristics in multiple cue probability learning environments can induce either analytical or intuitive cognition. The different modes of cognition are in turn associated with differing patterns of performance, including the ability to declare how one combines information when making judgments (termed insight). Insight is thus largely a state phenomenon, or one that is constrained or fostered by task characteristics. Conversely, metacognition (one aspect of which involves the ability to declare how one has enacted a strategy) is often thought of as an individual difference. Eight different environments in two experiments were constructed to induce either analytical or intuitive cognition. The environments were varied along several different dimensions, including whether the relationship between cues and criterion values was linear or nonlinear. In addition to completing a judgment task in one of these eight conditions, all participants completed two standard measures of metacognition. In this manner, the contributions of both task characteristics and individual differences to performance were assessed. Results indicated that both task characteristics and individual differences were related to performance.