Friday, March 18, 2011

Cheaters Overestimate Their Intelligence

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about typical high school students is their incredible ability to deceive themselves. Here's an example that I'm sure happens in my own classroom:
...asked 76 students to take a maths test, half of whom could see an answer key at the bottom of their sheets. Afterwards, they had to predict their scores on a second longer test. Even though they knew that they wouldn’t be able to see the answers this time round, they imagined higher scores for themselves (81%) if they had the answers on the first test than if they hadn’t (72%). They might have deliberately cheated, or they might have told themselves that they were only looking to “check” the answers they knew all along. Either way, they had fooled themselves into thinking that their strong performance reflected their own intellect, rather than the presence of the answers.
You can read my own attempts to remind myself I'm regularly wrong in my short series against self-verification.

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