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Description: Overclaiming has been described as people’s tendency to overestimate their cognitive abilities in general and their knowledge in particular. To distinguish between different viewpoint of what overclaiming constitutes, we juxtaposed overclaiming as indicated by claiming familiarity with non-existent terms, with fluid and crystallized intelligence, self-reported knowledge, creativity, faking ability, and personality. Overclaiming was measured with a newly comprised overclaiming questionnaire. The results of several latent variable analyses based upon a multivariate study with 298 participants showed that a) overclaiming is neither predicted by honesty-humility nor faking ability and therefore reflects something different than mere self-enhancement tendencies (CFI = .972, RMSEA= .047), b) carefully constructed foils allow reliable measurement of overclaiming, which is not taken as indicating a cognitive processing bias, c) overclaiming is not predicted by crystallized intelligence, but is highly predictive of self-reported knowledge and is not suitable as an index or a proxy for cognitive ability (CFI = .975, RMSEA = .052), and d) overclaiming is not predicted by divergent thinking and originality, and moderately predicted by self-reported openness for creativity indicating that overclaiming does not reflect creative ability (CFI = .975, RMSEA = .044). In addition, the results showed that a major amount of variance of self-reported knowledge can be explained by overclaiming and knowledge. In sum, we argue that our results clearly favor an interpretation of overclaiming as a phenomenon that requires more than self-enhancement motivation, as it was initially proposed in the literature.


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