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I knew that answer before you told me ... didn't I? : subjective experience versus objective measures of the knew-it-all-along effect

The knew-it-all-along (KIA) effect occurs when individuals report that they had
previously known something that they learned only recently. Participants in a traditional
KIA experiment first rate on a number scale the likelihood of one or more given
responses being the correct answer for trivia-like questions (Phase 1); in the feedback
phase they are shown the correct answers for a portion of the questions; and in the final
phase they are asked to ignore the feedback and give the same number rating for each
question that they had given in the first phase. Although several studies have shown that
people often have difficulty retrospectively determining the level of knowledge they had
prior to the occurrence of feedback, there is no research exploring the subjective
experience of the effect. We incorporated a RememberIJust KnowIGuess judgment in a
traditional (Experiment 1) and a modified-traditional (Experiment 2: 2-alternative-forcedchoice)
KIA paradigm. In the modified paradigm the number scale was eliminated, and
participants simply chose which of two response alternatives they believed to be the
correct answer for each trivia question. Experiments 3 - 5 were similar in format to
Experiments 1 and 2, but the trivia stimuli were replaced with word puzzles, which were
expected to be better suited to inducing a feeling of having known it all along because
answers to trivia questions typically seem arbitrary, whereas solutions to word puzzles
give rise to ah-ha experiences. A typical KIA effect was observed in all five experiments,
but evidence for an accompanying subjective feeling of knew-it-all-along was found only
with word puzzle stimuli.

Date10 April 2008
CreatorsArnold, Michelle Marie.
ContributorsLindsay, D. Stephen.
Source SetsUniversity of Victoria
Detected LanguageEnglish

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