Author: Peter PcPartlan
Presented at 2017 AERA
Abstract: Ask students whether or not they are good at math and you will get one of two answers. Ask students how they know they’re good at math and you will get a wide variety. Students’ perceptions of their abilities in math (self-concept) are affected by parent beliefs, social comparisons, dimensional comparisons, and perceptions of improvement. However, when studying cumulative effects, we know little about whether students selectively attend to some more than others. The present study explores patterns of selective attention to four prominent influences upon math self-concept, looking specifically for patterns predicted by Achievement Goal Theory. Results indicate high variability in attention paid to parent beliefs, but little variation in preference for social comparisons vs. perceptions of improvement.