Doubly blessed: Older adults know more vocabulary and know better what they know

Gitit Kavé, Vered Halamish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined age-related differences in the ability to judge one's vocabulary. Young, middle-age, and older adults completed a multiple-choice test of vocabulary, judged their confidence in each answer, and estimated their overall performance. Older adults performed better and were more confident in their knowledge than were the other 2 groups. Importantly, relative to young adults, older adults demonstrated better calibration both on item-by-item confidence judgments and on global estimates. Resolution, as defined by correlations between item-by-item performance and confidence judgments, was age-invariant. We suggest that age-related accumulation of vocabulary is accompanied by enhanced perception of mastery in one's knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.


  • Calibration
  • Confidence
  • General knowledge
  • Metacognition
  • Vocabulary


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