You may be more original than you think: Predictable biases in self-assessment of originality

Yael Sidi, Ilan Torgovitsky, Daniela Soibelman, Ella Miron-Spektor, Rakefet Ackerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How accurate are individuals in judging the originality of their own ideas? Most metacognitive research has focused on well-defined tasks, such as learning, memory, and problem solving, providing limited insight into ill-defined tasks. The present study introduces a novel metacognitive self-judgment of originality, defined as assessments of the uniqueness of an idea in a given context. In three experiments, we examined the reliability, potential biases, and factors affecting originality judgments. Using an ideation task, designed to assess the ability to generate multiple divergent ideas, we show that people accurately acknowledge the serial order effect—judging later ideas as more original than earlier ideas. However, they systematically underestimate their ideas' originality. We employed a manipulation for affecting actual originality level, which did not affect originality judgments, and another one designed to affect originality judgments, which did not affect actual originality performance. This double dissociation between judgments and performance calls for future research to expose additional factors underlying originality judgments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103002
JournalActa Psychologica
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Calibration bias
  • Metacognition
  • Originality judgments
  • Serial order effect
  • Under-confidence


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