What Your College Major Says About Your Confidence, Because It Reveals More Than You Think
How did you pick your major? Were you dreaming of majoring in English when you submitted that application? Planning a lifetime of politics while cramming for the SATs? Turns out, your area of study may reveal more about you than simply your love of reading: A new study has identified the most overconfident college majors. This should be interesting.
The study, published recently in the journal PLOS One , polled 711 first year students throughout Switzerland. The participants were given a list of five historical events and asked to estimate the year of each one. They were then asked how they thought they had done in comparison to their peers. Scientists subtracted their predicted scores from their actual scores in order to measure overconfidence.
The results were not super surprising, to be honest. Though almost every participant exhibited a bit of overconfidence, students in business-related majors — Political Science, Business Administration, and Economics — exhibited the highest confidence in their own abilities, and the lowest confidence in their peers'. Humanities students fell on the opposite end of the spectrum. Across the board, male students possessed a higher amount of overconfidence than their female counterparts.
This study wasn't simply conducted to identify who the cockiest students in the quad are, though. Its findings, particularly regarding the gendered confidence inconsistencies, are being analyzed in conjunction with the wage gap and workplace behavior. Female students in male-dominated fields, such as Engineering, exhibited some of the lowest amounts of self-confidence. Guess which fields happen to have some of the most dramatic wage gaps? Yep. You guessed it: Male-dominated fields like Engineering and Tech.
Of course, it's worth noting that we can't necessarily draw global conclusions from a study based in Switzerland; however, it's hard to ignore the fact that female-dominated fields, like non-profit work and education, statistically provide dramatically lower salaries. It may be just a coincidence that women are routinely socialized to have lower self-confidence in their intelligence and abilities, but like...come on. That would be a pretty big coincidence.