By to the RPM not requiring a

By utilising the
RPM, participants in the confidence rating condition showed the highest
accuracy in cognitive tasks, suggesting that by following each question with a
confidence measure, ‘confidence’ was primed in the mind of the participants,
resulting in an increase in performance. Similarly, the priming condition were
also aware of their confidence and accuracy, producing similar results to the
confidence rating group. On the other hand, the control condition had no relation
to confidence evaluation, resulting in a significantly lower accuracy level.
Therefore, these results support the expectation that metacognitive behaviour
of ‘confidence’ priming would increase reactivity.


Flavell’s research (1979)
concluded that as the metacognitive system develops, metacognition becomes more
apparent. In the current study, all participants were of mature age, and when
asked about metacognitive evaluations, they were able to give thoroughly
considered responses, supporting Flavell’s theory. Similar to Petrusic and
Baranki’s study (2003), which questioned whether confidence would affect the
decision process, the current study goes further to attest the extent of the
effect. In comparison to Yeung and Summerfield’s study (2012), the current
study does not use error likelihood, but instead asks the participants how
confident they were about their answer being correct. These results suggested
that participants were more likely to be certain of themselves being correct,
and were rarely certain they had made an error, supporting the idea that
metacognition optimises cognitive behaviour.

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The RPM is said to be
independent of language, reading and writing skills, so to improve the current
study, which only featured first year university students, further research
should test a large random sample including those without a high level of the
skills listed above to increase variety and validity of the results. Flavell’s
experiment (1979) featured participants of younger ages, something future
researchers in the area of confidence could consider, as it has been suggested
children at young ages are able to conduct metacognitive evaluations
(Whitebread et al., 2009), also pertaining to the RPM not requiring a high
level of cognitive skills. Flavell (1976) believed that interactions
among metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experiments, goals, and actions is
what causes the occurrence of a wide variety of cognitive processes. Further
research could also place a focus on personal goals and the influence that has
upon confidence level and performance.


In the current
study, the extent of the affect to which metacognitive evaluations has upon the
perception of confidence and underlying cognitive performance is tested through
the use of RPM. This contribution adds further detail to previous study that
confirmed the idea that metacognitive awareness has some influence on
underlying performance (Yeung and Summerfield, 2012). The final results suggest
that metacognition has quite a significant impact on the reactivity of
participants, with confidence priming encouraging a positive reaction to the