When taking exams, students may find themselves deciding between the answer that first comes to mind, and a second logical answer. When given the option to record both first instinct and second-guess answers, are students able to answer correctly more on their first or second try? Furthermore, do those students who tend to answer correctly on their second try have lower grade point averages? If so, this would indicate that when taking tests, they have not been able to fully represent their knowledge. In the present study, 16 participants read an informative passage and completed a series of ten open-ended questions regarding the passage. Students tended to answer correctly more on their first instinct. This implies that students should either stick to their first instinct, or that the study was not representative due to the small sample size. Overall, students answered incorrectly most of the time, indicating the difficulty of the test. There were no significant findings when correlating GPA with performance on the test.
Bennett, Bethany and Lafser, Nicole
"Instinct and Second-guessing Oneself on Tests,"
Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal: Vol. 1
, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/psych_journals/vol1/iss3/10
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