Determinants and validity of self-estimates of abilities and self-concept measures

How accurate are self-estimates of cognitive abilities? An investigation of verbal, math, and spatial abilities is reported with a battery of parallel objective tests of abilities. Self-estimates were obtained prior to and after objective ability testing (without test feedback) in order to examine whether self-estimates change after direct objective testing experience. Self-estimates showed small to large effect-size correlations with objective tests–larger for math and smaller for verbal. The construct space of self-estimates of abilities was explored in the context of self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy, personality, interests, motivational traits, and trait complexes. Self-efficacy and self-esteem variables showed the highest correlations with self-estimates of abilities. In general, trait complexes showed the highest correlations with verbal ability self-estimates and the lowest correlations with math ability self-estimates. Results are discussed in relation to the principle of aggregation, the influences of self-evaluative judgements, and uses for self-estimates of abilities measures.