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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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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3200/JECE.38.2.131-142
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Leonard c. Smith, 2009. "An Analysis Of The Impact Of Pedagogic Interventions In First-Year Academic Development And Mainstream Courses In Microeconomics," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(1), pages 162-178, March.
    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.
    5. Brookins, Philip & Lucas, Adriana & Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2014. "Reducing within-group overconfidence through group identity and between-group confidence judgments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-12.

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