• Fabian Wolff
  • Oliver Lüdtke
  • Friederike Helm
  • Jens Möller
The present research is the first to integrate three major theories of academic self-concept formation into one framework: the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE), the basking-in-reflected-glory effect (BIRGE), and the internal/external frame of reference (I/E) model. For separating the BFLPE and the BIRGE, we introduced students’ collective self-concepts, defined as their perceptions of domain-specific abilities of their group (e.g., their class). We tested our newly developed model, predicting students’ math and verbal self-concepts, in the field (N = 2,001 students from 110 classes) and in the laboratory (N = 315 students in groups of three). In both studies, we found support for (1) the BFLPE (i.e., negative effects of group-average achievements on individual self-concepts within domains), (2) the BIRGE (i.e., positive effects of collective self-concepts on individual self-concepts within domains), and (3) the I/E model (i.e., positive/negative effects of individual achievements on individual self-concepts within/between domains). Moreover, for the first time, we have largely replicated the I/E model relations for predicting students’ collective self-concepts by their group-average achievements. Interestingly, the BIRGE exceeded the BFLPE in both studies. This finding demonstrates the high suitability of collective self-concepts for operationalizing the BIRGE. Overall, our findings substantially enhance our knowledge of the cognitive processes involved in students’ self-concept formation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101952
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume65
ISSN0361-476X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2021

    Research areas

  • Methodological research and method development - Academic self-concept, BFLPE, BIRGE, Comparison processes, I/E model

ID: 1591155