ERIC Number: ED258076
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-May
Self-Verification of Ability through Biased Performance Memory.
Karabenick, Stuart A.; LeBlanc, Daniel
Evidence points to a pervasive tendency for persons to behave to maintain their existing cognitive structures. One strategy by which this self-verification is made more probable involves information processing. Through attention, encoding and retrieval, and the interpretation of events, persons process information so that self-confirmatory information tends to be over-represented. To investigate self-verification in a performance setting two studies examined the role of memory for performance outcomes in revisions of self-concept of ability. Self-estimates of ability were obtained from 151 undergraduates prior and subsequent to a controlled performance sequence and a measure of performance recall. The results indicated that performance memory bias (recall of success as compared to success indicated when performing) was related to post-performance ability estimates in both studies. A self-estimate of ability in several task-related skill areas was related to performance recall bias. Path analysis revealed a significant indirect path from pre-performance ability through recall bias to post-performance ability estimates. Ability estimates subsequent to performance were biased upward in direct proportion to pre-performance estimates by virtue of biased performance recall. The results support a tendency for information-processing to preserve existing cognitive structures. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (57th, Chicago, IL, May 2-4, 1985).