Self-Estimate of Abilities

We have found objective aptitude measurement to be underutilized, and we would like to learn more about how effectively individuals can use a self-estimate of abilities instrument to assess their own competitive strengths.

In the late 1990s the Ball Foundation conducted a number of studies that examined self-estimate of abilities in relation to objectively measured aptitudes. For example, we administered a self-estimate of abilities measure and Ball Aptitude Battery® (BAB™) tests to 828 ninth-grade students and found that students were more accurate in rating academic than non-academic abilities (Bizot & Barton; August, 1997) . These findings were consistent with other Ball Foundation investigations and studies in the scientific literature that report that students frequently mis-estimate their abilities.

This 36-item Self-Estimate of Abilities measure asks individuals to use a 5-point scale to self-report how they would compare to other adults in performing the task or type of work described in each statement. To allow for a reasonably direct comparison, items in this measure were created by the Foundation to correspond to ability dimensions measured in the Ball Aptitude Battery. As part of our ongoing research program, the Foundation will examine Self-Estimate of Abilities results in relation to BAB scores, demographic variables (including gender), personality, and interests. This is an ongoing effort.