Big egos don't produce good results in exams, says research

Students who think they deserve the best marks are among those most likely to fail in exams, a research suggested.

Researchers from the University of Otago tracked the progress of 300 marketing students and found bigger egos don't necessarily produce better results, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Growing evidence suggests younger generations have a rocketing sense of entitlement, leaving researchers curious as to how well people with excessive belief in their self-worth actually achieve, the report said.

Those with an exaggerated belief in what they deserve tended to do worse in their exams than those who took personal responsibility and were internally motivated for success, study leader Donna Anderson says.

These more ego-driven students were more likely to fail when they found the exam more difficult than expected, when compared with other students who also found the test surprisingly challenging, the study says.

This indicates that high expectations and extra stress don't go well together.

It also supports the notion that students who are excessively entitled believe that other people are responsible for their success or failure, and so are less motivated to put in more effort when required, Dr Anderson says.

The results, published in the International Journal of Higher Education, are the first internationally to prove that so-called "excessive entitlement" interferes with actually achieving success in the face of the challenge of university study.

Psychology lecturer Jamin Halberstadt, who oversaw the study, says there is a growing body of evidence suggesting those in Generation Y tend to have an inflated sense of entitlement.

He says this is "highly problematic" in an education system that is becoming more user pays.

"When you pay for your degree it becomes more like a product you purchase and with that can come these expectations of what you deserve to get in return," said Professor Halberstadt.

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