Non-ability-based confidence is one of the most pervasive human psychological biases. It is a part of a family of confidence judgments, including overconfidence and metacognitive calibration accuracy, defined by a discrepancy between self-perception of ability and actual ability. Across many domains, most people exhibit some degree of miscalibration in their confidence. Some people may be overconfident and others are underconfident. Despite the prevalence of non-ability-based confidence, relatively little research has investigated how non-ability-based confidence develops and why some people are more or less confident than others despite sharing the same level of ability. We use a longitudinal dataset to explore the childhood predictors of adolescent non-ability-based confidence. Achievement growth in math and reading in childhood was modeled and used to predict adolescent non-ability-based confidence in math and reading. Results show that the initial level of achievement predicts lower non-ability-based confidence in math. On the other hand, a faster rate of achievement growth across childhood predicts greater non-ability-based confidence in reading. These results highlight how previous experiences inform people's self-perceptions over and above their true abilities. Discussion focuses on the factors that shape non-ability-based confidence over the lifespan and the limitations of the current findings.
- Academic achievement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology