Date of Award

Spring 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Victor A Benassi


Individuals' metacognitive insight regarding their own performances -- what people think they know about what they know -- is often flawed. Students' metacognitive functioning was examined in two studies. In Study 1, exam performance estimates compared with actual scores were assessed across three in-class exams. Results demonstrated a systematic tendency for lower performers to overestimate their exam performances. Top performers underestimated their performance. In Study 2, an incentive to be as accurate as possible in exam performance estimations ($50 gift card) did not reduce estimation miscalculations for either bottom or top performers.

In Study 1, higher levels of students' self-efficacy (one's confidence that they can successfully complete a given task) were associated with higher levels of academic performance. Additionally, students with higher self-efficacy tended to use more cognitively based ("active") study strategies. Further analysis of study behavior demonstrated a positive correlation between reported use of active study behaviors and exam score and a negative correlation between reported use of passive study behaviors and exam score. Students who were both high on the active study behavior measure and low on the passive study behavior measure scored highest on the exam. Implications for successful self-regulated learning were discussed.