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Many experiments in cognitive psychology and other domains ask for confidence ratings (e.g., on a 0-100 scale, 100 meaning "I'm sure I experienced this stimulus"). What accounts describe how these decisions are made?

Review papers of this issue would be particularly helpful.

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I think you should remove the word probability from the title - confidence and probability are two very different things. For example, in many decision making experiments subjects have to choose between 2 alternatives, each giving a different reward with a different probability (two armed bandit). This tests, among other things, their perception of reward probability, but doesn't tell us much about their confidence. So asking how people estimate probabilities in general, and how people estimate their confidence are 2 different questions. – Ofri Raviv Feb 8 '12 at 16:44
Thanks for the suggestions! You're right -- oftentimes, confidence ratings are collected as if they were probability judgments (e.g., 100 confidence equals 100% chance of being accurate), but it wasn't clear from my description. – Andy DeSoto Feb 8 '12 at 18:45
Have a look at this recent Neuron article, it's not a review but might give you a good -though not simple- starting point – elisa Apr 24 at 14:53

Maybe look at the question about forced decisions, and my answer about evidence accumulation: Caller's dilemma . I guess, but do not know, that confidence is an estimate of how quickly you accumulated evidence for one of the decisions, and how much evidence there is for the other. The process is subconscious though, so how one would make the result conscious and verbalize this, I don't know. Perhaps an actual estimate of how quickly you knew.

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I plan to, once I'm at a computer. This is more of a placeholder than anything. – Minx yesterday

Activation of serotonin systems seems to play a role.

A hallucination induced by mushrooms or LSD, for example, is an example of an artificially inflated confidence rating attached to an experience. (Both of these drugs are serotonergic.)

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Please provide some references to back this statement up. Or, if you are merely hypothesizing, this message would be more appropriate as a comment. – Robin Kramer yesterday

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