When a reader's self-assessment of comprehension is high, but an objective assessment reveals that comprehension is faulty, an illusion of knowing has occurred. This illusion is observed when subjects who have been instructed to find contradictions between sentences in an otherwise coherent text fail to do so, but claim comprehension of the text. Three variables intended to modulate the frequency of contradiction detection and hence the illusion of knowing were manipulated. Illusions of knowing were more frequent when the contradictions involved inferences, when the contradictory sentences were in separate paragraphs, and when contradictory sentences used paraphrase to convey the same concepts. These effects are related to an activation account of contradiction detection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)