Using the central application procedure for places in the medical fields in Germany, we study how the (non-)assigment of a study place through this procedure influences ability beliefs and the willingness to compete in an application-relevant ability domain. Medical studies are some of the most prestigious study fields in Germany. Each year, only about 1 out of 6 applicants receives a study place.
In particular, we ask the following questions: (i) How does failure (relative to success) in the application procedure influence the willingness to compete in an application-related ability test? (ii) How does failure (relative to success) in the application procedure influence absolute and relative confidence in application-related abilities? (iii) Is there a gender difference in willingness to compete and in confidence? Does failure in the application procedure (relative to success) have heterogeneous effects on the willingness to compete and confidence by gender, ability, and famility background? (iv) Does positive/negative feedback about the ability test have heterogeneous effects on willingness to compete by gender, application success/failure, and the gender–application success/failure interaction?