Calibration between Student Mastery and Self-efficacy

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Content mastery and self‐efficacy were measured at the beginning and at the end of two classes in Research Methods in Psychology. A multiple‐choice test measured content mastery and a questionnaire measured self‐efficacy. Self‐efficacy reports improved significantly over the course of instruction, as did examination performance. The correlation between self‐efficacy and content mastery rose from .33 at pre‐test to .49 at post‐test, although the difference between the two correlations was not significant. The size of the correlation between self‐efficacy and content mastery indicates calibration, that is, the similarity in standing between a self‐description of skills and a normative evaluation of the same skills. The results are consistent with the idea that instruction facilitates content mastery, self‐efficacy and calibration. Students improve in actual knowledge and beliefs regarding competence in a domain, but also appear to gain a better understanding of their own standing relative to others in the domain.

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Studies in Higher Education, v. 30, issue 4, p. 473-483