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Sense of control empirical analysis: understanding overconfidence

Wesley Mendes-Da-Silva () and Abraham Sin Oih Yu

RAC - Revista de Administração Contemporânea (Journal of Contemporary Administration), 2009, vol. 13, issue 2, 247-271

Abstract: In the emerging field of behavioral finance, where details of human behavior concerning financial decision making are broached, implications of cognitive psychology and sociology are considered. In this way, scientific production, still small but making steady headway, of this thematic in the national scope has essentially laid more focus on the consequences of the cognitive biases of agents, which can reduce the validity of judgments which have been made. Some of the cognitive biases considered in literature, such as overconfidence and procrastination, are influenced by the sense of control that each person possesses. In this way, this article aims to verify associations between age and sense of control, analyzing the mediating effect of other personal characteristics on this association. The study stems from data collected during the first trimester of 2006, from 421 people living in Brazil. The main results suggest a significant quadratic association, like an inverted U curve, between age and sense of control, with this relationship being influenced by the level of education and the perceived general health conditions of each individual. It would seem, therefore, that the evolution of people's sense of control during their lifetimes is influenced by their education and global health.

Date: 2009
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