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I Thought I Got an A! Overconfidence Across the Economics Curriculum

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  • Clifford Nowell
  • Richard M. Alston

Abstract

Students often exhibit overconfident grade expectations and tend to overestimate the actual course grade at the completion of a course. Current theories of student motivation suggest such overconfidence may lead students to study less than if they had accurate grade perceptions. The authors report the findings of a survey of students enrolled in economics and quantitative courses at a large public university. They analyze the difference between a student's expected and actual grade and how teacher pedagogies can influence student overconfidence. They find male students and those with lower GPAs exhibit greater overconfidence. Students in lower division classes have a greater tendency to be overconfident than do those in upper division classes. The findings also indicate that grading practices influence overconfidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Clifford Nowell & Richard M. Alston, 2007. "I Thought I Got an A! Overconfidence Across the Economics Curriculum," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 131-142, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:38:y:2007:i:2:p:131-142 DOI: 10.3200/JECE.38.2.131-142
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Todd Sandler, 2003. "Collective Action and Transnational Terrorism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(6), pages 779-802, June.
    2. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
    3. Sandler, Todd & Enders, Walter, 2004. "An economic perspective on transnational terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-316, June.
    4. Lapan, Harvey E & Sandler, Todd, 1988. "To Bargain or Not to Bargain: That Is the Question," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 16-21.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, "undated". "How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence," IEW - Working Papers 137, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Charles Anderton & John Carter, 2005. "On Rational Choice Theory And The Study Of Terrorism," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 275-282.
    7. Lapan, Harvey E & Sandler, Todd, 1988. "To Bargain or Not to Bargain: That Is the Question," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 16-21.
    8. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd, 1995. "Terrorism: Theory and applications," Handbook of Defense Economics,in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 213-249 Elsevier.
    9. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287, December.
    10. Lee, Dwight R, 1988. "Free Riding and Paid Riding in the Fight against Terrorism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 22-26.
    11. Todd Sandler & Kevin Siqueira, 2006. "Global terrorism: deterrence versus pre-emption," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1370-1387, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brookins, Philip & Lucas, Adriana & Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2014. "Reducing within-group overconfidence through group identity and between-group confidence judgments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 1-12.
    2. Gorry, Devon, 2017. "The impact of grade ceilings on student grades and course evaluations: Evidence from a policy change," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 133-140.
    3. Guest, Jon & Riegler, Robert, 2017. "Learning by doing: Do economics students self-evaluation skills improve?," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 50-64.
    4. Ewing, Andrew M., 2012. "Estimating the impact of relative expected grade on student evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154.

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