Finding Nemo: An overview of new currents in big-fish-little-pond effect research

Year: 2008

Author: Seaton, Marjorie, Craveny, Rhonda G., Marsh, Herbert

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE) research has demonstrated that students in high-ability environments have lower academic self-concepts than equally able students in average- and low-ability settings. The present paper provides an overview of three new studies that extend knowledge of the BFLPE in both theoretical and practical ways. In particular, these studies: (a) demonstrate the generalisability of the BFLPE across 41 culturally and economically diverse countries; (b) demonstrate the generalisability of the BFLPE across various individual student characteristics; and (c) investigate the relation between the BFLPE and social comparison processes. Implications for educational policy and for teaching high-ability students are discussed.