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Published On: 12/02/2024|Categories: 2023-2027, Vol.45 (2), Vol.45 (2024)|
Cite as: Vera, C.M., Orgaz, C., Contreras, M.J., Montoro, P.R. (2024). Inter-individual differences and task familiarity in illusion of control. Psicologica, 45(2): e16258

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of task content familiarity in the illusion of control effect (i.e. the tendency to overestimate our chances of success beyond the objective probabilities). A secondary objective was to analyze individual differences in task performance. A total of 88 participants (36 aerospace engineers and 52 undergraduate psychology students) participated in this experiment performing a standard drug-related contingency judgment task (with a fictitious drug that could be effective for a fictitious disease) and a novel analogue task with aerospace content. In both tasks, there was a null contingency between treatment and recovery. However, the chance of spontaneous recovery was 70%, a baseline rate which tends to produce strong illusion of control effects in null contingency setups. The participants were tasked to identify the treatment effectivity (the normative answer was no effectivity at all). The data showed a strong illusion of control with no significant difference between groups and task. A non-negligible number of participants displayed inefficient strategies during task performance. Both tasks produced comparable results with no significant differences. Our data suggest that inter-individual effects need to be considered in future research and measures of central tendency must be used with caution.

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