Can a person truly be trusted or accurate if they are asked a question and they answer with high confidence? When it comes to the highly assumed positive correlation between high confidence and accuracy in recalling memory, it is believed that animals used this as an adaptive technique to ultimately survive and reproduce. However, it can be argued that there is little to no relationship as often a person can inaccurately recall a memory while still having a high amount of confidence. In this research study, subjects will study semantic words to later recall them and also have their confidence rated during that process. The reason for this study is to analyze just how confidence and memory correlates. Recently many, such as Van Koppen, argue that the relation between the two factors is so weak that it “should never be allowed as evidence for memory accuracy in the courtroom.” and it has been proven amongst several cases that the correlation is not as strong as people assume it is. The following research study will not be the first of study this phenomenon. In the past, like with Tulving’s study, it has been discovered that the likeliness of a high confidence-memory recall error increases if the subject at the time is presented with a similar but different scene material. Furthermore, in Koriat’s research study he found that there was a positive correlation between the two factors when asking people general knowledge questions and a negative correlation whenever asking people consensually incorrect questions or questions that most people normally missed. This means that most people chose the correct answer with high confidence for the general knowledge questions and the incorrect but most popular answer with high confidence for the consensually incorrect ones. For the study, two separate experiments were conducted. For experiment 1, a certain amount of subjects studied items, 15 words, to then recall these words in a test consisting of 4 different types of items. These types of items included the words studied, highly similar words in comparison of the actual words studied, words with little similarity in comparison of the actual words studied, and words of distinct or no similarity to the actual words studied. After each question the subject would then rate their confidence rating. To eliminate bias or misleading data several procedures were put into this experiment. As a result from the experiment the data reveals that as a whole, the more a subject had confidence the more they tended on being accurate in recalling. These results are proven from the multiple positive correlations although there were a few negative correlations which came from subjects choosing a highly similar word, when compared to the actual words studied, with high confidence. A deeper interpreted discussion of the data presented can be found in the article listed below. The second experiment, which was conducted the almost exact same way as experiment one, took place shortly after the first and produced almost identical results as the first experiment. As the study comes to a close, it is stated that it just depends on the situation to know or assume whether or not confidence and accuracy is strongly correlated. “This means that in some circumstances, one can rely on confidence as a proxy for strength of evidence that a memory is correct but in other situations the opposite holds true and caution is warranted.”
Roediger, Henry L., and K. Andrew Desoto. “Confidence and Memory: Assessing Positive and Negative Correlations.” Memory 22.1 (2013): 7691. Web.
When writing a whole new article based on the research study I found it quite difficult. My main problem with this was summarizing the research. As I tried only keeping material that was essential it became very hard to differentiate from what I really needed and what I could leave out of the summary while still keeping the audience informed and without misleading them in anyway. Somehow though I managed to turn seventeen pages of facts and information in about a 600 word article. As a sacrifice for having a short article I did not put in most of the information in the study that discussed the history and findings of past studies of the correlation of confidence and accuracy of memory recall. After rereading the research several times I finally got the hang of it however there was still the problem of interpreting the graphs and data that were involved in the study as well as not plagiarizing. On top of that I could not figure out a way to make my summary more appealing so that the audience will not actually get bored after reading the first two sentences. In comparison with the original news article my article presents itself as a very subpar copycat at best. With that being said I have to say that my perspective has definitely changed for all journalists because this job is no where close to being easy by any means. That is why is better to leave work like this to the experts who actually enjoy doing stuff such as this and know what they are doing.