Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect on Gifted Students' Academic Self-Concepts: What If the Big Fish has Adaptable Academic Self-Concepts?

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EGITIM VE BILIM-EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, vol.46, no.206, pp.91-106, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 206
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.15390/eb.2021.9303
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.91-106
  • Keywords: Big-fish-little-pond effect, Academic self-concepts, Gifted and talented students, SCIENTIFIC CREATIVITY, EDUCATION-PROGRAMS, HIGH-SCHOOLS, ABILITY, MODEL, ACHIEVEMENT, ACCELERATION, VALIDITY, EPTS
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


According to the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE), equally able students would have lower academic self-concepts in high-ability settings than those who attend low- or mixed-ability settings. This study was an investigation of the BFLPE on math and science academic self-concepts of gifted students. Participants included 50 fifth- and sixth-grade gifted students who participated in an after-school program for gifted students (EPTS) at a university campus for five terms. Students' academic self-concepts were measured using the Math and Science Academic Self-Concept Questionnaire both in the EPTS setting and in the school setting in three measurement points. Findings showed that gifted students' academic self-concepts declined significantly from time 1 measurement to time 3 measurement. However, the level of their academic self-concepts was still high in the EPTS and very high in school. The main effect of setting showed that the overall academic self-concept in school (M = 34,24; SD = 2,26) was significantly higher than the mean of academic self-concepts in the EPTS (M = 31,49; SD = 3,87). They used the EPTS and school as two different frames of reference and thus held adaptable academic self-concepts, relatively low in the EPTS and relatively high in school.