Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Academic Achievement in College: The Predictive Value of Subjective Evaluations of Intelligence and Academic Self-Concept

Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Academic Achievement in College: The Predictive Value of Subjective Evaluations of Intelligence and Academic Self-Concept

Article excerpt


It is not surprising that IQ measures predict educational achievement as they have had a long history of validation specifically against achievement criteria (Deary, et al., 2007; Mackintosh, 2006; Sternberg, 2003). Psychology systematically studied predictive value of intelligence measures in the educational domain and there is little doubt that this value is significant: Correlations between psychometric intelligence and educational achievement are usually moderate to strong (e.g., Deary, et al., 2007; McGrew, and Knopik, 1993). However, conventional IQ measures typically explain only about 25% of variance in learning outcomes and their predictive power seems to lower when studied on higher levels of education or in selective samples (MacKinnon, 1962; Grigorenko, and Kornilov, 2007; Sternberg, Grigorenko, and Bundy, 2001).

One of the possible ways of increasing the predictive value of intelligence measures is by broadening the concept of intelligence itself. For example, Sternberg's (1999, 2003) triarchic theory of intelligence suggests that relatively independent analytical, practical and creative abilities each make a unique contribution to achievement. This approach addresses previously unexamined types of abilities that play a role in adaptation and achievement; cultural differences in beliefs about abilities that are considered valuable; and students' individual profiles of weaknesses and strengths as well.

Another approach is to study the incremental explanatory power of intelligence measures obtained through self- and other-reports. This approach is of special interest to us because a self-estimated intelligence construct is by definition closely related to a self-concept. Self-estimated (or self-assessed) intelligence represents "individual differences in people's level of awareness of their capacity to perform on intellectually demanding tasks" (Chamorro-Premuzic, and Furnham, 2006a, p. 257) and is usually measured with direct self-estimates, Likert scales, percentile ranks, and visual analog scales (see Holling, and Preckel, 2005).

It is obvious that if self-estimated intelligence as a measure of one's insight into level of his abilities correlates with actual ability measures, part of its predictive power may come from this correlation. An increasing number of studies showed that these self-evaluations significantly and positively (r = .14 to r = .37) correlated with conventional IQ measures (Borkenhau, and Liebler, 1993; Mabe, and West, 1982; Paulus, Lysy, and Yik, 1998; Rammstedt, and Rammsayer, 2002). This means that if self-estimates of intelligence are specific and relatively accurate estimates of abilities, they can be used to predict achievement just as intelligence measures are. Indeed, Chamorro-Premuzic and Furnham (2006b) argue that, unlike other self-evaluation constructs, self-estimated intelligence is an intelligence measure, but a subjective one. However, a view of self-estimated intelligence as a proxy for psychometric measures in studying cognitive predictors of academic achievement is still doubtful (Paulus, Lysy, and Yik, 1998; but also see Holling, and Preckel, 2005) since previous research showed that personality measures explain about 8% in self-estimated intelligence (Furnham, and Dissou, 2007); the scores are systematically biased in subsamples and moderated by social comparisons, gender, experience with the tasks applied to assess the ability, and feedback (see Holling, and Preckel, 2005, for an overview). Also, just as for academic self-concept, there is also evidence for self-estimated intelligence having motivational effects (e.g., Chamorro-Premuzic, and Furnham, 2006a, 2006b).

The facts that discussions on whether self-estimated intelligence is related to intelligence or personality (or both) domains are far from being over, that the actual incremental predictive power of a self-estimated intelligence over conventional intelligence measures has rarely been studied, and that most studies focus on the relationship between self-estimated intelligence and personality traits but not other self-concept components, directed us towards simultaneous investigation of the relationship between self-estimated intelligence, conventional intelligence measures, self-concept components and achievement and the incremental predictive power of self-estimated intelligence over conventional IQ measure. …

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