Vol 6, Issue 4, November 2019

Comparative Metacognition


Carruthers, P., & Williams, D. M. (2019). Comparative metacognition. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 6(4), 278-288. https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.


We argue that comparative psychologists have been too quick to jump to metacognitive interpretations of their data. We examine two such cases in some detail. One concerns so-called “uncertainty monitoring” behavior, which we show to be better explained in terms of first-order estimates of risk. The other concerns informational search, which we argue is better explained in terms of a first-order curiosity-like motivation that directs questions at the environment.


Curiosity, Interest, Metacognition, Question, Risk evaluation, Uncertainty