- Press Release Distribution

Are us teenagers more likely than others to exaggerate their math abilities?

( A major new study has revealed that American teenagers are more likely than any other nationality to brag about their math ability.

Research using data from 40,000 15-year-olds from nine English-speaking nations internationally found those in North America were the most likely to exaggerate their mathematical knowledge, while those in Ireland and Scotland were least likely to do so.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, used responses from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in which participants took a two-hour maths test alongside a 30-minute background questionnaire.

They were asked how familiar they were with each of 16 mathematical terms – but three of the terms were fake.

Further questions revealed those who claimed familiarity with non-existent mathematical concepts were also more likely to display overconfidence in their academic prowess, problem-solving skills and perseverance.

For instance, they claimed higher levels of competence in calculating a discount on a television and in finding their way to a destination.  Two thirds of those most likely to overestimate their mathematical ability were confident they could work out the petrol consumption of a car, compared to just 40 per cent of those least likely to do so.

Those likely to over-claim were also more likely to say if their mobile phone stopped sending texts they would consult a manual (41 per cent versus 30 per cent) while those less likely to do so tended to say they would react by pressing all the buttons (56 per cent versus 49 per cent).

Over-claimers were also more likely to say they were popular with their peers at school, although the evidence was less strong on this topic.

Overall, boys were more likely to overclaim than girls, and those from advantaged backgrounds were more likely to do so than those from less advantaged groups. In most countries, immigrants were more likely to do this than the native-born, particularly in Northern Ireland and New Zealand although not in the United States.

Three broad clusters of countries emerged, with the United States and Canada at the top of the rankings when it came to excessive claims on maths knowledge, and with Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland at the bottom. In the middle were Australia, New Zealand, England and Wales.

The report’s lead author is John Jerrim, Professor of Education and Social Statistics at the UCL Institute of Education. “Our research provides important new insight into how those who over-claim about their maths ability also exhibit high levels of over-confidence in other areas,” he said. “Although ‘overclaiming’ may at first seem to be a negative social trait, we have previously found that overconfident individuals are more likely to land top-jobs. The fact that young men tend to overclaim their knowledge more than young women, and the rich are more likely to overclaim than the poor, could be related to the different labor market outcomes of these groups."

Students were shown a list of 16 items and asked to indicate their knowledge of each on a five-point scale ranging from ‘never heard of it’ to ‘know it well, understand the concept’. They were:

Exponential function Divisor Quadratic function Proper number Linear equation Vectors Complex number Rational number Radicals Subjunctive scaling Polygon Declarative fraction Congruent figure Cosine Arithmetic mean Probability Numbers 4, 10 and 12 were fake terms.



Women receiving inflated risks from genetic testing could undergo unnecessary breast surgery

Women could be opting to have unnecessary surgery to avoid breast cancer, after being told they are at high risk from genetic test results which do not take family history into account.  The authors of new research led by the University of Exeter have warned that women who discover,  outside of a clinical setting, that they carry a disease-causing variant in one of the BRCA genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2) may be told their risk of breast cancer is 60-80 per cent. In fact, the risk could be less than 20 per cent if they do not have a close relative with the condition.  The warning has emerged in a paper published today in the Lancet journal eClinical Medicine. Until recently, women who ...

The Morton Arboretum awarded historic $15 million in federal IRA funds to improve urban forests in underserved Illinois communities

The Morton Arboretum awarded historic $15 million in federal IRA funds to improve urban forests in underserved Illinois communities
LISLE, Ill. (September 14, 2023) — The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., announced it will receive $15 million in federal funding from the U.S. Forest Service through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to expand and improve the tree canopy in disadvantaged communities throughout Illinois. The funding is part of a historic $1 billion investment to boost the nation’s urban tree cover in communities nationwide. The federal grant funding the Arboretum will receive is the largest award in Illinois, the largest award to a public garden in the country and a historic sum for the nonprofit tree-focused organization.  The U.S. ...

Scientists uncovered mystery of important material for semiconductors at the surface

Scientists uncovered mystery of important material for semiconductors at the surface
A team of scientists with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has investigated the behavior of hafnium oxide, or hafnia, because of its potential for use in novel semiconductor applications. Materials such as hafnia exhibit ferroelectricity, which means that they are capable of extended data storage even when power is disconnected and that they might be used in the development of new, so-called nonvolatile memory technologies. Innovative nonvolatile memory applications will pave the way for the creation of bigger and faster computer systems by alleviating the heat generated from the continual ...

RIT researcher receives award to advance study of cortical blindness

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Gabriel Diaz, associate professor in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, has earned the Research to Prevent Blindness/Lions Clubs International Foundation Low Vision Research Award (LVRA), in collaboration with researchers at the University of Rochester. The award is given annually to provide funding for innovative research, which demonstrates out-of-the-box thinking, focuses on the visual system that is damaged, and seeks greater understanding of how the visual system and brain respond to severe and chronic visual ...

$8.7M to vector-borne disease center funds training, evaluation

ITHACA, N.Y. -- To help respond to emerging and established vector-borne threats, the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEVBD), led by Cornell, has received a five-year, $8.7 million award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to train and educate current and future vector-borne disease professionals and to evaluate the effectiveness of community and regional prevention strategies. The award, effective as of July, follows $10 million in ...

New device rapidly controls postpartum hemorrhage

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 14, 2023--A study led by Columbia obstetricians has shown that a new intrauterine device can rapidly control postpartum hemorrhage, a major cause of severe maternal morbidity and death, in real-world situations.  “Our findings show that the device is an important new tool in managing postpartum bleeding,” says Dena Goffman, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior author of the study.   “We had ...

Grant funds study of video game for preventing unintended teen pregnancies

Grant funds study of video game for preventing unintended teen pregnancies
Weill Cornell Medicine has been awarded a five-year, $5 million grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services through the Office of Population Affairs under the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to conduct a randomized trial testing whether a bilingual video game called “No Baby No (No Bebé No)” can increase the use of contraception among sexually active Black and Hispanic adolescents. “Nine out of ten teens play video games. No Baby No empowers Black and Hispanic adolescents to learn about contraception, and the potential consequences of not using it, in a risk-free virtual ...

New evidence indicates patients recall death experiences after cardiac arrest

New evidence indicates patients recall death experiences after cardiac arrest
Philadelphia, September 14, 2023 – Up to an hour after their hearts had stopped, some patients revived by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had clear memories afterward of experiencing death and had brain patterns while unconscious linked to thought and memory, report investigators in the journal Resuscitation, published by Elsevier. In a study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, in cooperation with 25 mostly US and British hospitals, some survivors of cardiac arrest described lucid death experiences that occurred while they were seemingly unconscious. Despite immediate treatment, fewer than 10% of the 567 patients studied, ...

Clinical whole genome sequencing test developed at JAX

Clinical whole genome sequencing test developed at JAX
Until quite recently, it was extremely difficult to detect the variants underlying many genetic disorders. In the absence of a defined cause, clinicians have little to guide treatment for those left without a genetic diagnosis, forcing patients and families to embark on a diagnostic odyssey with no guarantee of finding answers. A decade ago, sequencing centers began offering clinical whole exome sequencing, but these only cover the portion of the genome that codes for proteins – approximately 1.5 percent of the entire genome. While relatively successful, the diagnostic yield for most clinical exome sequencing programs is roughly 25 percent, leaving 75 percent of cases without ...

UCI researchers announce publication of an open-label clinical trial suggesting that N-acetylglucosamine restores neurological function in Multiple Sclerosis patients

UCI researchers announce publication of an open-label clinical trial suggesting that N-acetylglucosamine restores neurological function in Multiple Sclerosis patients
Irvine, CA – Sept. 14, 2023 – UCI researchers have found that a simple sugar, N-acetylglucosamine, reduces multiple inflammation and neurodegeneration markers in people who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, they also found this dietary supplement improved neurological function in 30% of patients. According to the World Health Organization, MS affects more than 1.8 million people, and while there are treatments to prevent relapses and improve quality of life, there is no cure. The study, N-acetylglucosamine ...


American Academy of Arts and Sciences to induct UVA's Garcia-Blanco

Illinois-led team puts cows and microbes to work to reduce greenhouse gases

DOE announces $264 million for basic research in support of Energy Earthshots™

New drug a breakthrough for brain tumor that strikes young people: NEJM editorial

Genome study reveals 30 years of Darwin’s finch evolution

Ghent University’s research team envisions a bright future with active machine learning in chemical engineering

Climate change and carnivores: shifts in the distribution and effectiveness of protected areas in the Amazon

Can ChatGPT help us form personal narratives?

An intelligent control method reduces carbon emissions in energy-intensive equipment

Groundbreaking control method reduces carbon emissions from zinc oxide rotary kilns, boosting profits for zinc smelting industry

Small but mighty new gene editor

Study finds SARS-CoV-2-associated sepsis was more common, deadly than previously thought

Use of electronic clinical data to track incidence and mortality for SARS-CoV-2–associated sepsis

Misinformation, trust, and use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Neighborhood factors, individual stressors, and cardiovascular health among Black and white adults

New research reveals link between childhood mental health problems and quality of life for young adults

New insights into how the human brain organises language

Visual search: Context facilitates more effective strategies

Malaria: Treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria patients under threat in the Horn of Africa

New post-translational modification of the glycolytic enzyme enolase

New frontier in biomedical engineering: Protein coacervates engineered into adhesive for unprecedented skin repair speed

New study unveils insights into ethylene copolymerization with linear and end-cyclized olefins using a metallocene catalyst

Study identifies new pathway to suppressing autoimmunity

Diabetes may accelerate blood cancer growth, yet survival outcomes differ by race

Groundbreaking mathematical proof: new insights into typhoon dynamics unveiled

Teams invent a new metallization method of modified tannic acid photoresist patterning

MoMFs could be central to liver regeneration

A lethal parasite’s secret weapon: Infecting non-immune cells

Ball milling provides high pressure benefits to battery materials

Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society (CHSS) and fourteen professional organizations announce recommendations for performing pediatric heart surgery in US

[] Are us teenagers more likely than others to exaggerate their math abilities?