Confidence, advice seeking and changes of mind in decision making

Niccolò Pescetelli, Anna Katharina Hauperich, Nick Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Humans and other animals rely on social learning strategies to guide their behaviour, especially when the task is difficult and individual learning might be costly or ineffective. Recent models of individual and group decision-making suggest that subjective confidence judgments are a prime candidate in guiding the way people seek and integrate information from social sources. The present study investigates the way people choose and use advice as a function of the confidence in their decisions, using a perceptual decision task to carefully control the quality of participants' decisions and the advice provided. The results show that reported confidence guides the search for new information in accordance with probabilistic normative models. Moreover, large inter-individual differences were found, which strongly correlated with more traditional measures of metacognition. However, the extent to which participants used the advice they received deviated from what would be expected under a Bayesian update of confidence, and instead was characterised by heuristic-like strategies of categorically ignoring vs. accepting advice provided, again with substantial individual differences apparent in the relative dominance of these strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104810
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • Advice taking
  • Metacognition
  • Opinion change
  • Social learning


Dive into the research topics of 'Confidence, advice seeking and changes of mind in decision making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this