Similar history biases for distinct prospective decisions of selfperformance
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Mei, N., Rankine, S., Olafsson, E. et al. Similar history biases for distinct prospective decisions of self-performance. Sci Rep 10, 5854 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62719-z
Metacognition can be deployed retrospectively -to reflect on the correctness of our behavior- or prospectively -to make predictions of success in one’s future behavior or make decisions about strategies to solve future problems. We investigated the factors that determine prospective decision making. Human participants performed a visual discrimination task followed by ratings of visibility and response confidence. Prior to each trial, participants made prospective judgments. In Experiment 1, they rated their belief of future success. In Experiment 2, they rated their decision to adopt a focused attention state. Prospective beliefs of success were associated with no performance changes while prospective decisions to engage attention were followed by better self-evaluation of the correctness of behavioral responses. Using standard machine learning classifiers we found that the current prospective decision could be predicted from information concerning task-correctness, stimulus visibility and response confidence from previous trials. In both Experiments, awareness and confidence were more diagnostic of the prospective decision than task correctness. Notably, classifiers trained with prospective beliefs of success in Experiment 1 predicted decisions to engage in Experiment 2 and vice-versa. These results indicate that the formation of these seemingly different prospective decisions share a common, dynamic representational structure.