Adolescent Egocentrism in a Learning Context

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For some adolescents the change in cognitive functioning results in egocentrism. Adolescents assume that since they spend a considerable amount of time thinking about themselves, others must be doing the same thing, namely, thinking about them. This belief is referred to as imaginary audience. Another manifestation of egocentrism is known as personal fable. Some adolescents believe that their experiences are entirely unique. No one else has experienced what they experience. A third manifestation is over estimation of responsibilities. They concentrate so much on their own input that they overlook the contribution of others.

For a considerable time of the day, the school going adolescent is involved in learning activities. One can therefore assume that some adolescents will also show egocentric behaviour in a learning environment.

An empirical investigation was carried out to determine if egocentric behaviour in a learning situation occurs, how it differs between grades, if gender differences exist and how it correlates with academic achievement. In the presentation the structure, validity and reliability of a newly developed measuring instrument will be explained. The analysis of the data will be discussed as well as the educational and psychological implications of the study.


Keywords: Adolescent Learning, Egocentrism, Academic Achievement
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Garfield Bester

Professor, Educational Psychology, University of South-Africa
Pretoria, South Africa

Prof Bester completed a B.Sc-degree majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. He also obtained a M.Ed-degree in Educational Psychology, a M.Ed degree in Counselling Psychology and a D.Ed in Educational Psychology. He is a registered Educational Psychologist in South-Africa. He teaches Research Methodology and Psychometrics for post graduate students in Education at the University of South Africa. Several masters and doctors degree students have successfully completed their studies under his supervision, he publishes on a regular basis and delivers papers at conferences on a national and international level. His focus of interest is learning, and adolescent development.

Ref: L09P1383