Domain-specific metacognitive calibration in children with learning disabilities

Neil Crane, Fordham University


Research has shown that a student’s self-efficacy can predict his or her academic performance. While moderate overconfidence in one’s abilities is beneficial, research demonstrates that students who are able to accurately assess their abilities (i.e., display good calibration) are more likely to achieve higher levels of academic performance. Individuals with learning disabilities have been found in previous studies to have poor levels of calibration when compared to typically developing students, particularly on academic tasks. Building on this line of research, this study examined the metacognitive calibration of students with learning disabilities across both academic and non-academic contexts. Twenty-nine students with learning disabilities were given both an academic and a non-academic task and asked to predict their performance on both tasks. Calibration scores were calculated by comparing participants’ expected performance to their actual performance. Students reported much higher levels of self-efficacy on the non-academic task; however, on two of the three calibration measures, their calibration was significantly lower on the non-academic task. The results suggest that the reduced calibration that individuals with learning disabilities show is not domain-specific. The study suggests the possibility that the history of failure that students with learning disabilities have with academic tasks may actually improve their calibration with those tasks, and that they may have an overall deficit in their ability to predict their own abilities.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Crane, Neil, "Domain-specific metacognitive calibration in children with learning disabilities" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3712220.