ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 867-878.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00867

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The Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect in the Development of Academic Self-Concept

LI Zhenxing;LI Yujiao;WANG Huan;ZOU Wenqian;GUO Cheng   

  1. (Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University; Research Center of Mental Health Education, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2012-12-04 Online:2013-05-15 Published:2013-05-15
  • Contact: GUO Cheng

Abstract: The Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect (BFLPE) refers to the phenomenon that students in higher-level classes or schools tend to have lower academic self-concepts, compared to their peers with the same academic level but attending lower-level classes or schools. This is analogous to the saying that better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion. The present study analyzed the literature on BFLPE and summarized findings in this domain, which provided valuable implications for the problem of grouping ability and school choosing in the education practice in China. This study also offered directions for future research, including strengthening statistical methods, the cultural difference in BFLPE, its specification of contexts and age, as well as its external validity, et al.

Key words: big-fish-little-pond effect, academic achievement, academic self-concept