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Strategically delusional

Alice Solda, Changxia Ke (), Lionel Page () and William von Hippel ()
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Changxia Ke: Queensland University of Technology
William von Hippel: University of Queensland

Experimental Economics, 2020, vol. 23, issue 3, No 2, 604-631

Abstract: Abstract We aim to test the hypothesis that overconfidence arises as a strategy to influence others in social interactions. To address this question, we design an experiment in which participants are incentivized either to form accurate beliefs about their performance at a test, or to convince a group of other participants that they performed well. We also vary participants’ ability to gather information about their performance. Our results show that participants are more likely to (1) overestimate their performance when they anticipate that they will try to persuade others and (2) bias their information search in a manner conducive to receiving more positive feedback, when given the chance to do so. In addition, we also find suggestive evidence that this increase in confidence has a positive effect on participants’ persuasiveness.

Keywords: Overconfidence; Motivated cognition; Self-deception; Persuasion; Information sampling; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Strategically delusional (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s10683-019-09636-9

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