From the post:
Evidence in experimental psychology suggests that most people overestimate their own ability to complete objective tasks accurately. This phenomenon, often called confidence bias, refers to “a systematic error of judgment made by individuals when they assess the correctness of their responses to questions related to intellectual or perceptual problems.” 1 But does this hold up in crowdsourcing?
We ran an experiment to test for a persistent difference between people’s perceptions of their own accuracy and their actual objective accuracy. We used a set of standardized questions, focusing on the Verbal and Math sections of a common standardized test. For the 829 individuals who answered more than 10 of these questions, we asked for the correct answer as well as an indication of how confident they were of the answer they supplied.
We didn’t use any Gold in this experiment. Instead, we incentivized performance by rewarding those finishing in the top 10%, based on objective accuracy.
I am not sure why crowdsourcing would make a difference on the question of overestimation of ability but now the answer is in, N0. But do read the post for the details, I think you will find it useful when doing user studies.
For example, when you ask a user if some task is too complex as designed, are they likely to overestimate their ability to complete it, either to avoid being embarrassed in front of others or admitting that they really didn’t follow your explanation?
My suspicion is yes and so in addition to simply asking users if they understand particular search or other functions with an interface, you need to also film them using the interface with no help from you (or others).
You will remember in Size Really Does Matter… that Blair and Maron reported that lawyers over estimated their accuracy in document retrieval by 55%. Of course, the question of retrieval is harder to evaluate than those in the Crowdflower experiment but it is a bias you need to keep in mind.