M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentShefer Gilat Ofri
SubjectThe Association between Sense of Agency and Metacognitive
Accuracy in Problem Solving
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor ASSOCIATE PROF. Rakefet Ackerman


Sense of Agency is defined as the feeling of being in control and being responsible for the results of one’s actions. Existing literature has yielded inconsistent associations between sense of agency and performance in learning and problem solving. These inconsistent findings have been explained as an outcome of individual differences in metacognitive monitoring accuracy. We examined this explanation in two studies. First, we examined whether individual differences in monitoring accuracy moderate the relationship between sense of agency and success in problem solving. Prolific participants solved verbal riddles and rated their confidence in each solution. Monitoring accuracy was measured by calibration (overconfidence) and resolution (discrimination between correct and wrong solutions). Sense of agency was measured by a self-report questionnaire. We found that monitoring accuracy did not moderate the association between sense of agency and performance.

In the second study, we manipulated sense of agency into two levels by the time frame given for solving the problems: pre-determined time for the low sense of agency condition and self-pace for the high sense of agency condition. In this experiment we examined whether the moderation role of monitoring accuracy when manipulating sense of agency. However, we found no support for this hypothesis.

Aside from the moderating role of monitoring accuracy, we also examined its association with sense of agency. Results revealed a positive association between measured sense of agency and resolution, which became negative once sense of agency was manipulated. Future studies are called to continue delving into the association between sense of agency and monitoring accuracy in their combined effects on problem-solving outcomes.