Sources of confidence judgments in implicit cognition

Richard J. Tunney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Subjective reports of confidence are frequently used as a measure of awareness in a variety of fields, including artificial grammar learning. However, little is known about what information is used to make confidence judgments and whether there are any possible sources of information used to discriminate between items that are unrelated to confidence. The data reported here replicate an earlier experiment by Vokey and Brooks (1992) and show that grammaticality decisions are based on both the grammatical status of items and their similarity to study exemplars. The key finding is that confidence ratings made on a continuous scale (5096-100%) are closely related to grammaticality but are unrelated to all of the measures of similarity that were tested. By contrast, confidence ratings made on a binary scale (high vs. low) are related to both grammaticality and similarity. The data confirm an earlier finding (Tunney & Shanks, 2003) that binary confidence ratings are more sensitive to low levels of awareness than continuous ratings are and suggest that participants are conscious of all the information acquired in artificial grammar learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


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