Vocabulary overclaiming — A complete approach: Ability, personality, self-concept correlates, and gender differences

Extant measures that purport to assess overclaiming of an individual’s knowledge provide checklistsof real and bogus items, and typically assess overclaiming on the basis of the number of bogus itemsendorsed by the respondents. Such measures have two salient shortcomings. First, the procedurefor selecting foils (e.g., that may sound familiar to respondents) may influence the likelihood ofendorsement — such as the use of ‘attractive distractors.’ Second, real items endorsed by therespondents are not necessarily ‘true’ indicators of the individual’s knowledge, but confoundknowledge with self-enhancement, because there is no assessment of the individual’s actualknowledge. We present a study of overclaiming of vocabulary knowledge that provides a signaldetection theory assessment, including self-claimed knowledge and an objective test of knowledge.Ability, personality, self-concept and other predictorswere assessed, alongwith gender. Self-claimedvocabulary knowledge was highly correlated with objectively assessed knowledge. In contrast toinvestigations without explicit checks on actual knowledge, current results indicated that higherability individuals evidenced slightly greater overclaiming than lower ability individuals.