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Abstract

This study investigated moderating effects of attribute controllability on self-evaluation biases. Students of psychology rated the degree to which they possessed attributes that were described as having either positive or negative implications for academic success. For attributes that were perceived as trait-like or stable, self-ratings were higher when the attributes were presented as positive predictors of achievement than when the same attributes were presented as risk factors, indicating a self-enhancement bias. An opposite tendency emerged for attributes that were perceived as open to personal control: Here, self-ratings were higher for attributes that were presented as risk factors, indicating an enhanced tendency for self-critique and self-correction. This asymmetry of effects is explained in terms of a dual-process model of action regulation (Brandtstädter & Rothermund, 2002a, 2002b). Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.