Dynamic influences on static measures of metacognition

Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 21;13(1):4208. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31727-0.


Humans differ in their capability to judge choice accuracy via confidence judgments. Popular signal detection theoretic measures of metacognition, such as M-ratio, do not consider the dynamics of decision making. This can be problematic if response caution is shifted to alter the tradeoff between speed and accuracy. Such shifts could induce unaccounted-for sources of variation in the assessment of metacognition. Instead, evidence accumulation frameworks consider decision making, including the computation of confidence, as a dynamic process unfolding over time. Using simulations, we show a relation between response caution and M-ratio. We then show the same pattern in human participants explicitly instructed to focus on speed or accuracy. Finally, this association between M-ratio and response caution is also present across four datasets without any reference towards speed. In contrast, when data are analyzed with a dynamic measure of metacognition, v-ratio, there is no effect of speed-accuracy tradeoff.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making / physiology
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology
  • Metacognition* / physiology