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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1986 Mar;50(3):482-91.

Persistence of inaccurate beliefs about the self: perseverance effects in the classroom.


The perseverance of erroneous self-assessments was examined among high school students. Subjects were first exposed to either highly effective or thoroughly useless filmed instruction, leading, respectively, to their consequent success or failure. No-discounting subjects received no assistance in recognizing the relative superiority or inferiority of their instruction. Discounting subjects, by contrast, were subsequently shown the opposite instructional film, highlighting the obvious differences in instructional quality. Subsequent measures revealed that all subjects recognized the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of their instruction, although this contrast was clearer for discounting subjects. Nevertheless, both discounting and no-discounting subjects continued to draw unwarranted inferences--in line with their initial outcomes--about their personal capacities, immediately afterward. Dissociated and disguised measures of academic preferences and perceptions completed weeks later produced even more dramatic results: The continuing impact of initial outcomes was generally greater for discounting than no-discounting subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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