Date:

Degree: Doctoral Thesis

Authors: Henrique Fátima Boyol Ngan

Supervisors: Prof. Andrew Found


Kruger and Dunning (1992) found that unskilled people were typically unaware of their own performance and ability. In this context, unskilled performers were shown to overestimate their performance and ability, whereas skilled performers often accurately predicted their own performance and ability. Such miscalibration

in self-assessment is usually attributed to a lack of so-called metacognitive skills necessary for performance evaluation. However, it remains unknown to what extent the miscalibration of performance judgment and optimistic bias is observed in the Chinese culture. This thesis examines patterns of miscalibration of performance judgment and specific optimistic bias. This thesis also builds on a range of previous studies of performance judgment and optimistic bias. In order to investigate the performance judgment and optimistic bias in this context, two studies were conducted as part of the research aspect of this thesis. In the first study, participants were given a reasoning task on which they had to predict their performance before completing the task and estimate their performance upon completion of the task. The second study followed similar methodology, with two additional tasks – Institute For Tourism Studies (IFT) module and the respective midterm examination. Results from both studies indicate that biases in performance judgment occur in the Chinese culture, and may yield negative consequences to those persons who exhibit such judgments. Although metacognitive ability provides some explanation for the miscalibration of performance judgment, the results of the current study indicate that task optimistic bias provides another, equally viable explanation for the miscalibration of performance judgment. The findings presented in this thesis suggest that inaccurate judgments of performance occur within various domains (general and specific performance contexts) and that there are a range of implications associated with these biases.

Keywords: Miscalibration of performance judgment, optimistic bias, absolute optimistic bias, comparative optimistic bias, overestimation, overplacement, underestimation, underplacement.