Metacognitive domain specificity in feeling-of-knowing but not retrospective confidence.

Research paper by Audrey A Mazancieux, Claire C Dinze, Céline C Souchay, Chris J A CJA Moulin

Indexed on: 13 Mar '20Published on: 04 Mar '20Published in: Neuroscience of Consciousness


Previous research has converged on the idea that metacognitive evaluations of memory dissociate between semantic and episodic memory tasks, even if the type of metacognitive judgement is held constant. This often observed difference has been the basis of much theoretical reasoning about the types of cues available when making metacognitive judgements of memory and how metacognition is altered in memory pathologies. Here, we sought to revisit the difference between episodic and semantic feeling-of-knowing (FOK) judgements in the light of recent research which has supported a domain general account of metacognition. One hundred participants performed classical episodic and semantic memory tasks with FOK judgements and confidence judgements. Using the meta-d' framework, we applied a hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate metacognitive sensitivity and cross-task covariance. Results revealed a significant correlation in metacognitive efficiency (meta-d'/d') between the episodic memory task and the semantic memory task for confidence judgements; however, no evidence was found for a cross-task correlation for FOK judgements. This supports the view that FOK judgements are based on different cues in semantic and episodic memory, whereas confidence judgements are domain general. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press.