Metacognition; Originality Judgments; Under-Confidence; Calibration Bias; Serial Order Effect
How accurate are individuals in judging the originality of their own ideas? Most metacognitive research has focused on well-defined tasks, such as learning, memory, and problem solving, providing limited insight into ill-defined tasks. The present study introduces a novel metacognitive self-judgment of originality, defined as assessments of the uniqueness of an idea in a given context.In three experiments, the authors examined the reliability, potential biases,and factors affecting originality judgments. Using an ideation task, designed to assess the ability to generate multiple divergent ideas, they show that people accurately acknowledge the serial order effect—judging later ideas as more original than earlier ideas. However,they systematically underestimate their ideas’ originality. They employed a manipulation for affecting actual originality level, which did not affect originality judgments, and another one designed to affect originality judgments, which did not affect actual originality performance. This double dissociation between judgments and performance calls for future research to expose additional factors underlying originality judgments.