Positive biases in self-assessment of mathematics competence, achievement goals, and mathematics performance


  • Dupeyrat Caroline
  • Escribe Christian
  • Huet Nathalie
  • Régner Isabelle


  • Bias
  • Mathematics
  • Achievement goals
  • Competence
  • Perceptions
  • Self-assessment

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The study examined how biases in self-evaluations of math competence relate to achievement goals and progress in math achievement. It was expected that performance goals would be related to overestimation and mastery goals to accurate self-assessments. A sample of French high-school students completed a questionnaire measuring their math achievement goals and their perceived competence in math. Students’ math grades for the three trimesters of the school year were collected from school records. Bias in selfevaluations was computed by comparing students’ rating on the ‘perceived competence in math’ scale with their actual math achievement as measured by their second trimester math grades. Students were classified into one of three groups (over-raters, accurate raters, or under-raters) depending on whether their self-perceptions of competence in math were higher than, similar to, or lower than their relative math achievement in their class. As expected, overrating of one’s performance was related to performance goals. Furthermore, the over-raters were the only group who progressed in their math achievement from Trimester 2 to 3. No relation was found between mastery goals and accurate self-assessment.

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