Social Reactions to Overconfidence: Do the Costs of Overconfidence Outweigh the Benefits?
AbstractScholars have recently proposed that overconfidence pervades self-judgment because of the social benefits it provides individuals, such as higher status in groups (Anderson, Brion, & Moore, 2010). A counter-argument to this social-functional account of overconfidence is that the possible social costs of overconfidence could outweigh its benefits. Specifically, individuals could be severely punished by groups if their overconfidence were to become apparent to others. This paper examines social reactions to overconfidence by exploring whether groups in fact punish individuals revealed to be overconfident. In three laboratory studies, we found that groups did not react negatively to individuals revealed to be overconfident and in fact tended to view overconfident individuals as more socially skilled. This research lends further empirical support to the social-functional account of overconfidence by suggesting that the status-related benefits of overconfidence outweigh the possible social costs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt2p7835vm.
Date of creation: 30 Mar 2011
Date of revision:
status; overconfidence; self-enhancement; hierarchy; accountability; Business; Social and Behavioral Sciences;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-03-28 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-03-28 (Evolutionary Economics)
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- Anderson, Cameron & Brion, Sebastien & Moore, Don A. & Kennedy, Jessica A., 2012. "A status-enhancement account of overconfidence," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6s5812wf, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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