Re "self-efficacy", read

        Unskilled and Unaware of it:
        How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence
        Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments
        Kruger and Dunning
        Psychology, 2009, 1, 30-46
<Abstract>

People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many
social and intellectual domains.  The authors suggest that this
overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in
these domains suffer a dual burden:  Not only do these people reach
erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence
robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.  Across 4 studies,
the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on
tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test
performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th
percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd.  Several analyses
linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the
capacity to distinguish accuracy from error.  Paradoxically, improving
the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive
competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.

</Abstract>

This suggests that "people who believe in themselves" probably do WORSE
than ones that don't.  There's room for doubt about people who really
ARE good at something, but people who are just beginning a subject are
not likely to be good at estimating how good they are at it yet.
(Grammar and logic are at least somewhat relevant to programming.)


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