Conflict, metacognition, and analytic thinking

Thinking and Reasoning 20 (2):215-244 (2014)
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Abstract

One hundred and three participants solved conflict and non-conflict versions of four reasoning tasks using a two-response procedure: a base rate task, a causal reasoning task, a denominator neglect task, and a categorical syllogisms task. Participants were asked to give their first, intuitive answer, to make a Feeling of Rightness judgment, and then were given as much time as needed to rethink their answer. They also completed a standardized measure of IQ and the actively open-minded thinking questionnaire. The FORs of both high- and low-capacity reasoners were responsive to conflict, such that FORs were lower for conflict relative to non-conflict problems. Consistent with the quantity hypothesis, high-capacity reasoners made a greater distinction between conflict and non-conflict items on measures of Type 2 thinking, namely, rethinking time and probability of changing answers. In contrast to the quality hypothesis, however, this rethinking time did not advantage the ability of the high-capacity group to produce normative answers, except for the base rate task. Indeed, we observed that the correlation between capacity and the probability of normative answers emerged at the initial response, rather than after rethinking

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