Examining Underconfidence Among High-Performing Students: A Test of the False Consensus Hypothesis
People are inaccurate when predicting their performance on tests: Poor performers are often overconfident whereas high performers are slightly underconfident. This pattern is said to occur because low performers overestimate their own knowledge and underestimate others’ knowledge, whereas high performers only overestimate others’ knowledge by assuming it is similar to theirs—a false consensus effect. The current studies tested this false consensus hypothesis in a classroom setting. Across two studies spanning four classroom exams, students predicted the grade they would receive, their percentile rank, and the class average prior to taking an exam. Results showed that, although low performers made less accurate grade predictions than high performers, the groups did not differ in the accuracy of their percentile predictions or in their judgments of others’ abilities. These findings failed to support the false consensus hypothesis that high performers make underconfident assessments of their relative standing due to overestimating others’ knowledge.
Classroom, High performers, Low performers, Metacognitive judgments, Overconfidence, Underconfidence
Tirso, Robert, Lisa Geraci, and Gabriel D. Saenz. "Examining Underconfidence Among High-Performing Students: A Test of the False Consensus Hypothesis." Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition 8, no. 2 (2019): 154-165.
Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition