Is the perception of academic performance among peers biased to the
disadvantage of students with mi-gration background (MB)? What role does
friendship among peers play for the perception of perfor- mance differences?
In a quasi-experimental study, 9th graders with and without MB attending
school in Germany rated the performance of a comparison partner relative to
their own performance after taking a mathematics test. Degrees of
correspondence between perceived and actual performance in intragroup (both
partners with or without MB) and intergroup (comparer or partner with
migration background) situations were tested in multilevel analyses. In both
intragroup comparison situations, students evaluated their partners’
performances benevolently. In contrast, in intergroup situations students with
MB overes-timated the performance of partners without MB relative to their
own. Only students without MB judging partners with MB showed no such
positivity bias. The pattern was replicated in the sub sample of friends,
suggesting a subtle, yet powerful negative performance stereotype towards
students with MB.