Confidence weighting

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Confidence weighting (CW) is concerned with measuring two variables: (1) what a respondent believes is a correct answer to a question and (2) what degree of certainty the respondent has toward the correctness of this belief.[1]

Confidence weighting when applied to a specific answer selection for a particular test or exam question is referred to in the literature from cognitive psychology as item-specific confidence, a term typically used by researchers who investigate metamemory or metacognition, comprehension monitoring, or feeling-of-knowing.[2] Item-specific confidence is defined as calibrating the relationship between an objective performance of accuracy (e.g., a test answer selection) with the subjective measure of confidence, (e.g., a numeric value assigned to the selection).[3] Studies on self-confidence and metacognition during test taking (e.g.,[4][5]) have used item-specific confidence as a way to assess the accuracy and confidence underlying knowledge judgments.

Researchers outside of the field of cognitive psychology have used confidence weighting as applied to item-specific judgments in assessing alternative conceptions of difficult concepts in high school biology and physics (e.g.,[6][7]), developing and evaluating computerized adaptive testing (e.g.,[8]), testing computerized assessments of learning and understanding (e.g.,[9][10][11][12]), and developing and testing formative and summative classroom assessments (e.g.,[13]). Confidence weighting is one of three components of the Risk Inclination Model.


  1. ^ Ebel, R. L. (1965). "Confidence Weighting and Test Reliability". Journal of Educational Measurement. 2 (1): 49–57. doi:10.1111/j.1745-3984.1965.tb00390.x. 
  2. ^ Lundeberg, M.; Fox, P. W.; Puncochaf, J. (1994). "Highly Confident but Wrong: Gender Differences and Similarities in Confidence Judgments". Journal of Educational Psychology. 86 (1): 114–121. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.86.1.114. 
  3. ^ Hacker, D. J. (2009). Handbook of Metacognition in Education. New York: Routledge. pp. 222–239. 
  4. ^ Kleitman, S.; Stankov, L. (2005). "Ecological and Person-Oriented Aspects of Metacognitive Processes in Test-Taking". Applied Cognitive Psychology. 15 (3): 321–341. doi:10.1002/acp.705. 
  5. ^ Kleitman, S.; Stankov, L. (2007). "Self-confidence and metacognitive processes". Learning and Individual Differences. 17 (2): 161–173. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2007.03.004. 
  6. ^ Odom, A. L.; Barrow, L. H. (2007). "High School Biology Students' Knowledge and Certainty about Diffusion and Osmosis Concepts". School Science and Mathematics. 107 (3): 94–101. doi:10.1111/j.1949-8594.2007.tb17775.x. 
  7. ^ Planinic, M.; Boone, W. J.; Krsnik, R.; Beilfuss, M. L. (2006). "Exploring Alternative Conceptions from Newtonian Dynamics and Simple DC Circuits: Links between Item Difficulty and Item Confidence". Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 43 (2): 150–171. doi:10.1002/tea.20101. 
  8. ^ Yen, Y.-C.; Ho, R.-G.; Chen, L.-J.; Chou, K.-Y.; Chen, Y.-L. (2010). "Development and Evaluation of a Confidence-Weighting Computerized Adaptive Testing". Educational Technology & Society. 13 (3): 163–176. 
  9. ^ Anagnostelis, B. (1998). "Resource Discovery: Identifying, Evaluating and Integrating Digital Networked Resources within the Learning Process". Health Informatics Journal. 4 (1): 39–50. doi:10.1177/146045829800400108. 
  10. ^ Brewer, C. A. (2004). "Near Real-Time Assessments of Student Learning and Understanding in Biology Courses". BioScience. 54 (11): 1034–1039. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2004)054[1034:nraosl];2. 
  11. ^ Gardner-Medwin, A. R. (1998). "Updating with Confidence: Do your students know what they don't know?". Health Informatics Journal. 4: 39–50. 
  12. ^ Oliver, M. (1998). Innovation in the Evaluation of Learning Technology. London: University of North London. 
  13. ^ Gardner-Medwin, A. R. (1998). "Updating with Confidence: Do your students know what they don't know?". Health Informatics Journal. 4: 39–50.