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A status-enhancement account of overconfidence

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  • Anderson, Cameron
  • Brion, Sebastien
  • Moore, Don A.
  • Kennedy, Jessica A.
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    Abstract

    In explaining the prevalence of the overconfident belief that one is better than others, prior work has focused on the motive to maintain high self-esteem, abetted by biases in attention, memory, and cognition.An additional possibility is that overconfidence enhances the person’s social status.We tested this status-enhancing account of overconfidence in six studies. Studies 1 through 3 found overconfidence leads to higher social status in both short and longer-term groups, using naturalistic and experimental designs. Study 4 applied a Brunswikian (1956) lens analysis and found that overconfidence leads to a behavioral signature that makes the individual appear competent to others. Studies 5 and 6 measured and experimentally manipulated the desire for status and found that the status motive promotes overconfidence. Together, these studies suggest that people might so often believe they are better than others because it helps them achieve higher social status.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt6s5812wf.

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    Date of creation: 02 Mar 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt6s5812wf

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    Keywords: Business;

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    1. Kennedy, Jessica A. & Anderson, Cameron & Moore, Don A., 2011. "Social Reactions to Overconfidence: Do the Costs of Overconfidence Outweigh the Benefits?," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt2p7835vm, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    2. Moore, Don A., 2007. "Not so above average after all: When people believe they are worse than average and its implications for theories of bias in social comparison," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 42-58, January.
    3. Lu�s Santos-Pinto & Joel Sobel, 2005. "A Model of Positive Self-Image in Subjective Assessments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1386-1402, December.
    4. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Edwards, Jeffrey R., 1994. "The Study of Congruence in Organizational Behavior Research: Critique and a Proposed Alternative," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 51-100, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kennedy, Jessica A. & Anderson, Cameron & Moore, Don A., 2013. "When overconfidence is revealed to others: Testing the status-enhancement theory of overconfidence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 266-279.
    2. Mehri, Meryem, 2014. "Differential Effects of Law, Culture and Political Risk on Fees, Performance and Risk-taking Behavior of Mutual Fund Managers," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13772, Paris Dauphine University.
    3. Sah, Sunita & Moore, Don A. & MacCoun, Robert J., 2013. "Cheap talk and credibility: The consequences of confidence and accuracy on advisor credibility and persuasiveness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 246-255.
    4. Kilduff, Gavin J. & Anderson, Cameron & Willer, Robb, 2013. "Consensus and Contribution: Shared Status Hierarchies Promote Group Success," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt77q7n684, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.

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