What are the metacognitive costs of young children's overconfidence?

Destan, Nesrin; Roebers, Claudia M. (2015). What are the metacognitive costs of young children's overconfidence? Metacognition and learning, 10(3), pp. 347-374. Springer Science and Business Media 10.1007/s11409-014-9133-z

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Children typically hold very optimistic views of their own skills but so far, only a few studies have investigated possible correlates of the ability to predict performance accurately. Therefore, this study examined the role of individual differences in performance estimation accuracy as a global metacognitive index for different monitoring and control skills (item-level judgments of learning [JOLs] and confidence judgments [CJs]), metacognitive control processes (allocation of study time and control of answers), and executive functions (cognitive flexibility, inhibition, working memory) in 6-year-olds (N=93). The three groups of under estimators, realists and over estimators differed significantly in their monitoring and control abilities: the under estimators outperformed the over estimators by showing a higher discrimination in CJs between correct and incorrect recognition. Also, the under estimators scored higher on the adequate control of incorrectly recognized items. Regarding the interplay of monitoring and control processes, under estimators spent more time studying items with low JOLs, and relied more systematically on their monitoring when controlling their recognition compared to over estimators. At the same time, the three groups did not differ significantly from each other in their executive functions. Overall, results indicate that differences in performance estimation accuracy are systematically related to other global and item-level metacognitive monitoring and control abilities in children as young as six years of age, while no meaningful association between performance estimation accuracy and executive functions was found.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

Graduate School:

Swiss Graduate School for Cognition, Learning and Memory (SGS-CLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Destan, Nesrin and Roebers, Claudia


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Springer Science and Business Media


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Nesrin Destan

Date Deposited:

22 Apr 2015 14:27

Last Modified:

31 Jul 2017 09:16

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Performance estimation accuracy, Metacognitive abilities, Executive functions, Children, Individual differences





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