Blind insight: metacognitive discrimination despite chance task performance.


Blindsight and other examples of unconscious knowledge and perception demonstrate dissociations between judgment accuracy and metacognition: Studies reveal that participants' judgment accuracy can be above chance while their confidence ratings fail to discriminate right from wrong answers. Here, we demonstrated the opposite dissociation: a reliable relationship between confidence and judgment accuracy (demonstrating metacognition) despite judgment accuracy being no better than chance. We evaluated the judgments of 450 participants who completed an AGL task. For each trial, participants decided whether a stimulus conformed to a given set of rules and rated their confidence in that judgment. We identified participants who performed at chance on the discrimination task, utilizing a subset of their responses, and then assessed the accuracy and the confidence-accuracy relationship of their remaining responses. Analyses revealed above-chance metacognition among participants who did not exhibit decision accuracy. This important new phenomenon, which we term blind insight, poses critical challenges to prevailing models of metacognition grounded in signal detection theory.