Decision confidence

Welcome to CODE! We are a network of 9 research labs located throughout Europe. We aim to unravel the mechanisms of decision confidence.

Virtually every decision people make comes with a sense of confidence – a subjective estimate of decision accuracy. Confidence enables us to monitor and judge the quality of our own decisions and sometimes even changes our behavior. For example, we reduce speed when driving in bad weather because we are less confident about our estimates of distance to surrounding traffic. But what makes us feel less confident under such circumstances? What brain mechanisms underlie this ability?

Confidence makes us reduce speed when driving in bad weather (contrast left with right photo). But what mechanisms make us feel less confident under such circumstances? And how do we then decide to reduce speed?

The human capacity for confidence has tremendous social, clinical, and industrial impact.

Children who can correctly judge their own level of confidence perform better academically. In the elderly, confidence declines faster than other cognitive functions. Clinically, confidence plays a key role in our understanding of various brain-related disorders, including dementia, anxiety, addiction, and depression. In industry, confidence helps people trust algorithms and automated systems, and creates more natural interactions with smartphones and self-driving cars.

We aim to unravel the mechanisms of decision confidence.

While the past decade has seen major advances in our scientific understanding of decision confidence, its mechanisms remain poorly understood. This lack of understanding significantly hampers the translation to real-world applications, such as educational programs and clinical interventions. Our multidisciplinary network aims to address this issue. CODE is a collaborative effort to advance current understanding of decision confidence and involves 9 research labs throughout Europe. By reaching across domains that usually work in silos, we aim to provide critical new insights into decision confidence, and pave the way for important confidence-based applications.

Meet the team

Our PI’s at CODE’s kickoff event. From left to right: Andrea, Uta, David, Ruth, Elisa (on screen), Pascal, Janneke, Steve, and Kobe.