How chronic self-views influence (and potentially mislead) estimates of performance

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Jan;84(1):5-17.


An important source of people's perceptions of their performance, and potential errors in those perceptions, are chronic views people hold regarding their abilities. In support of this observation, manipulating people's general views of their ability, or altering which view seemed most relevant to a task, changed performance estimates independently of any impact on actual performance. A final study extended this analysis to why women disproportionately avoid careers in science. Women performed equally to men on a science quiz, yet underestimated their performance because they thought less of their general scientific reasoning ability than did men. They, consequently, were more likely to refuse to enter a science competition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aptitude*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodicity
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors