Improving evaluative judgement: Countering the Lake Wobegon effect



Evaluative judgement, illusory superiority, self-evaluation


Evaluative judgement is the ability to objectively evaluate the quality of one's own work. This is an important metacognitive skill for all students and graduates. The tendency of inexperienced people to over-estimate their ability is called illusory superiority, which is also called the Lake Wobegon effect, after the fictional town where "all the children are above average", or the Kruger-Dunning effect, after the Ig Nobel Prize winners. In this study, students were rewarded if their self-evaluation was consistent with the evaluation of an academic marker. It was found that self-evaluations were consistent with markers' evaluations when a binary (achived / not-achieved) marking scheme was used. For multi-mark, non-binary marking schemes, students would eventually recalibrate their self-evaluations over a few assessment cycles.

Author Biography

Kieran Fergus Lim, Deakin University

Dr Kieran F Lim (ζž—η™Ύε›) is an associate professor of chemistry in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia. He is the recipient of an Australian Award for Teaching Excellence in the Physical Sciences and Related Studies. He is a former chair of the RACI's Division of Chemical Education.