Impact of Social and Dimensional Comparisons on Student‘s Mathematical and English Subject-Interest at the Beginning of Secondary School

Author(s): Schurtz, Irene M.; Pfost, Maximilian  ; Nagengast, Benjamin; Artelt, Cordula  
Title of the Journal: Learning and Instruction : The Journal of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
ISSN: 0959-4752
Publisher Information: Amsterdam : Elsevier
Year of publication: 2014
Volume: 34
Pages: 32-41
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2014.08.001
Recent studies have analyzed social and dimensional comparisons simultaneously in order to consider their impact on students' academic self-concept (e.g., Chiu, 2012). Thereby, social comparisons refer to comparisons with the achievement level of students' classmates, whereas dimensional comparisons comprise comparisons between students' individual achievements across different domains. This paper analyzes whether both achievement comparisons influence students' subject-interest in mathematics and English (as a first foreign language). The analyses are based on N = 1390 German fifth and sixth grade students who participated in the BiKS-8-14 longitudinal study. Using multi-level analyses, results indicate that students' competences influence their mathematical and English subject-interests, demonstrating the typical pattern of social and dimensional comparisons. Further, analyses reveal mediation effects by subject-specific grades and self-concepts. These findings also apply for the development of students' subject-interest from grade 5 to grade 6. Results are discussed with respect to their implications concerning theories of achievement comparisons and interest development.
Keywords: Big-fish-little-pond-effect, Internal/external frame of reference model, Subject-interest, Social comparisons, Dimensional comparisons
Type: Article
Release Date: 21. April 2022