TITLE

Delusions about performance on multiple-choice comprehension tests

AUTHOR(S)
Pressley, Michael; Ghatala, Elizabeth S.
PUB. DATE
September 1988
SOURCE
Reading Research Quarterly;Fall1988, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p454
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Are adult readers aware of their performance following multiple-choice comprehension tests? This issue was investigated by having university students respond to three kinds of multiple-choice items: reading comprehension questions (reading a text and answering inferential questions), opposites (choosing the opposite of a vocabulary word), and analogies (A is to B as C is to ?). The students then rated their certainty that they had responded correctly to each item; all relevant materials were available when the rating was made (i.e., the question, potential answers, the subject's answer, and the text for comprehension test items). Accuracy of confidence ratings was above chance for all three types of test, indicating some awareness of performance. Certainty ratings were more consistent with students' actual performance for opposites and analogies, however, than for comprehension test items. The most striking problem with the certainty ratings for the comprehension items was overconfidence in incorrect answers. This is a serious deficiency, in that perceiving an incorrect answer as possibly incorrect is a critical prerequisite to reprocessing a question and associate, d text in an attempt to identify whether there is a more adequate answer. This finding has implications for those occasions when students are to make inferences about their comprehension and memory of text on the basis of answering questions without provision of explicit feedback, such as when questions accompany text as adjuncts.
ACCESSION #
19440143

 

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