a1 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TU, United Kingdom. N.L.Gjersoe@bristol.ac.uk B.M.Hood@bristol.ac.uk http://psychology.psy.bris.ac.uk/people/nathaliagjersoe.html http://brucemhood.wordpress.com
We propose another positive illusion – overconfidence in the generalisability of one's theory – that fits with McKay & Dennett's (M&D's) criteria for adaptive misbeliefs. This illusion is pervasive in adult reasoning but we focus on its prevalence in children's developing theories. It is a strongly held conviction arising from normal functioning of the doxastic system that confers adaptive advantage on the individual.