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When good = better than average

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  • Don A. Moore
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    Abstract

    People report themselves to be above average on simple tasks and below average on difficult tasks. This paper proposes an explanation for this effect that is simpler than prior explanations. The new explanation is that people conflate relative with absolute evaluation, especially on subjective measures. The paper then presents a series of four studies that test this conflation explanation. These tests distinguish conflation from other explanations, such as differential weighting and selecting the wrong referent. The results suggest that conflation occurs at the response stage during which people attempt to disambiguate subjective response scales in order to choose an answer. This is because conflation has little effect on objective measures, which would be equally affected if the conflation occurred at encoding.

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    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/jdm7308.pdf
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    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/7308/jdm7308.htm
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
    Issue (Month): (October)
    Pages: 277-291

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:2:y:2007:i::p:277-291

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    Related research

    Keywords: comparative judgment; solo comparison; subjective measures; better-than-average.;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Volume, Volatility, Price, and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1887-1934, December.
    2. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2005. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2661-2700, December.
    3. Klein, William M.P., 2002. "Comparative risk estimates relative to the average peer predict behavioral intentions and concern about absolute risk," Risk, Decision and Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 193-202, June.
    4. Baron, Jonathan, 1997. "Confusion of Relative and Absolute Risk in Valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 301-9, May-June.
    5. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Volume, Volatility, Price and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," Finance 9803001, EconWPA.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Radzevick, Joseph R. & Moore, Don A., 2013. "Just how comparative are comparative judgments?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 80-91.
    2. Moore, Don A. & Klein, William M.P., 2008. "Use of absolute and comparative performance feedback in absolute and comparative judgments and decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 60-74, September.
    3. Jason P. Rose & Paul D. Windschitl & Andrew R. Smith, 2012. "Debiasing egocentrism and optimism biases in repeated competitions," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(6), pages 761-767, November.
    4. Ryvkin, Dmitry & KrajĨ, Marian & Ortmann, Andreas, 2012. "Are the unskilled doomed to remain unaware?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1012-1031.
    5. Roy, Michael M. & Liersch, Michael J. & Broomell, Stephen, 2013. "People believe that they are prototypically good or bad," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 200-213.

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