Recent research has revealed a series of striking limits to visual perception. One important aspect of these demonstrations is the degree to which they conflict with intuition; people often believe that they will be able to see things that experiments demonstrate they cannot see. This metacognitive error has been explored with reference to a few specific visual limits, but no study has yet explored people’s intuitions about vision more generally. In this article we present the results of a broad survey of these intuitions. Results replicate previous overestimates and underestimates of visual performance and document new misestimates of performance in tasks that assess inattention blindness and visual knowledge. We also completed an initial exploratory factor analysis of the items and found that estimates of visual performance for well-structured information tend to covary. These results represent an important initial step in organizing the intuitions that may prove important in a variety of settings, including performance of complex visual tasks, evaluation of others people’s visual experience, and even the teaching of psychology.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.