Social origin and the ability to self-evaluate school performance accurately

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Description: As for students many consequential life decisions still lie ahead it is vitally important that their choices suit their abilities. Concerning education a misperception of academic ability can lead to educational misinvestment with potentially severe consequences. That is why this paper investigates if there are disparities in the ability to accurately self-evaluate school performance by social origin. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first paper considering this important research question. In doing so, the paper has two emphases: firstly, a theoretical model, arguing why disparities in the ability to accurately self-evaluate school performance by social origin are likely, is proposed and secondly an empirical study is conducted in order to examine if disparities by social origin are findable. The key results indicate that both students with less and students with highly educated parents underestimate their school performance if they have school grades higher than the average, and overestimate their school performance if they have school grades lower than the average. However, this relationship is intensified for students with less educated parents and therefore they self-evaluate their school performance compared to students with highly educated parents less accurately.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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