Correlates of overrating and underrating of cognitive competence among kindergarten children

Avi Assor, Emda Orr, Beatrice Priel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study focused on kindergarten children who were rated by teachers as low but rated themselves as high on cognitive competence (“overraters”), and on kindergarteners who were classified by teachers as high but rated themselves as low on cognitive competence (“underraters”). Children rated themselves and were rated by their teachers on Harter and Pike's (1984) Pictorial Scale for Young Children. Results showed that overrating and underrating in the cognitive domain were associated with similar tendencies in the physical, peer, and mother acceptance domains. Overraters were rated by teachers as lower on peer and mother acceptance than were accurate perceivers with similar teacher‐rated cognitive competence. Underraters did not differ on these variables from accurate perceivers of similar teacher‐rated cognitive competence. The findings are consistent with the notion that extreme overrating among kindergarteners is not a chance phenomenon, but a defensive strategy that occurs most often among children who are particularly unsuccessful in the social domains. In contrast, underrating among kindergarteners does not seem to be associated with low social acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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