Choice latency times as determinants of post-decisional confidence

Dan Zakay, Rafi Tuvia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In three experiments the relationship between choice latency times and post-decisional confidence was examined. In the first experiment 81 participants answered a general knowledge questionnaire and rated their degree of confidence in the correctness of each choice they made. Choice latency times were also measured. A negative correlation between choice latency times and confidence ratings was obtained, especially when very high confidence ratings were reported. This relationship, however, was not compatible with that between choice latency times and choice accuracy, which was very low. These results were replicated in the third experiment in which 81 participants performed a perceptual learning task. In the second experiment another group of 81 participants answered the same questionnaire, but this time they were asked - after seeing a question and before making a choice - to state their level of prospective confidence regarding their ability to make a correct choice. Results indicated that when prospective confidence was high, the following choice latency times were significantly shorter than when prospective confidence was either low or moderate. This finding indicates that prospective confidence partly determines choice latency times. It was suggested that choice latency times might be a misleading cue for feelings of confidence. Implications of these findings for understanding the overconfidence (OC) phenomenon were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Choice latency time
  • Overconfidence
  • Post-decisional confidence


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