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Strategically delusional

Alice Soldà (), Changxia Ke (), Lionel Page () and William von Hippel ()
Additional contact information
Alice Soldà: Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 2, GATE UMR 5824, 93 Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France ; Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
Changxia Ke: Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
William von Hippel: University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia

No 1908, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon

Abstract: We aim to test the hypothesis that overconfidence arises as a strategy to influence others in social interactions. We design an experiment in which participants are incentivised 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 provide, the different empirical links of von Hippel and Trivers’ (2011) theory of strategic overconfidence. First, we find that participants are more likely to overestimate their performance when they anticipate that they will try to persuade others. Second, when offered the possibility to gather information about their performance, they bias their information search in a manner conducive to receiving more positive feedback. Third, the increase in confidence generated by this motivated reasoning has a positive effect on their 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)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-hrm
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Strategically delusional (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Strategically delusional (2019) Downloads
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