Subjective Overachievement Scale (SOS): Concern With Performance

The Subjective Overachievement Scale (SOS): Concern with Performance is a 9-item measure designed to identify subjective overachievers, or individuals who are concerned about having successful performances yet are doubtful about possessing the underlying talent or ability to achieve success. This measure was developed along with the Subjective Overachievement Scale (SOS): Self-Doubt, found here.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range:


1. It is important that I succeed in all that I do.
2. Failure has its advantages. *
3. Failure is unacceptable to me.
4. I think that in some situations it is important that I not succeed. *
5. Sometimes I am more comfortable when I lose or do poorly. *
6. I try to avoid being too successful. *
7. For me, being successful is not necessarily the best thing. *
8. There are some situations where I think it is better that I fail. *
9. I strive to be successful at all times.

* Reverse-coded Items

Response Options:
Disagree very much - 1
Disagree pretty much - 2
Disagree a little - 3
Agree a little - 4
Agree pretty much - 5
Agree very much - 6

Scoring Procedures

Mean and median scores are calculated.

Original Citation

Oleson, K. C., Poehlmann, K. M., Yost, J. H., Lynch, M. E., & Arkin, R. M. (2000). Subjective overachievement: Individual differences in self doubt and concern with performance. Journal of Personality, 68(3), 491-524.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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