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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The positive illusory bias among women with differing levels of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms Jiang , Yuanyuan


Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have a Positive Illusory Bias (PIB) in that they overestimate their abilities in areas in which they are deficient. Little is known about the PIB in adults with symptoms of ADHD. This study examines the PIB in adult women with differing levels of ADHD symptoms in seven domains of functioning. Ninety-one women with varying levels of ADHD symptoms completed a self-perception questionnaire inquiring about their sociability, intimate relationships, work competence, household management, intelligence, nurturance, and parenting. Others who knew the women well completed the same questionnaire with regard to the women. Standardized discrepancy scores between the women and other raters were used to index the women’s over-estimations of their competence. A composite score of the women’s ADHD symptoms was created (based on the women’s and others’ reports), and was not significantly related to the PIB in any domain. However, when the women’s and other raters’ reports of the women’s ADHD symptoms were examined separately, other raters’ reports were significantly positively associated with the PIB while women’s self-reports of ADHD symptoms were significantly negatively correlated with the PIB. These findings suggest the existence of the PIB in estimating competence among women with high levels of ADHD symptoms, at least when ADHD symptoms are assessed by other adults.

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