The Metacognitive Advantage of Deliberative Thinkers: A Dual-Process Perspective on Overconfidence

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We explored whether the thinking mode—deliberative versus intuitive—that people use to solve a problem or make a judgment influences their awareness of their own and others’ performance. The results of 7 studies support the hypothesis that deliberative thinkers have a metacognitive advantage over intuitive thinkers: Deliberative thinkers are aware of both the deliberative solution and the intuitive alternative; realizing that the deliberative solution is better, they are likely to feel more confident and be more accurate in how they assess their performance and that of others. Intuitive thinkers, on the other hand, are aware only of the intuitive solution; whenever this solution is incorrect, they are unaware of how poor their performance was and how they rank in comparison to others. Implications of this metacognitive advantage are discussed.

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