Self-Confidence: Intrapersonal Strategies
AbstractThis paper explains why people value self-confidence, and how this concern shapes their informational strategies and intertemporal decisions. The theory has applications in areas as diverse as labour supply, savings and investment, or education and career decisions. People generally have imperfect knowledge about their abilities, which in most tasks are complementary to effort. Self-confidence thus enhances motivation, and this gives a time--inconsistent individual a strong incentive to build up the self-esteem of his future selves, so as to limit their procrastination. The benefits of confidence-maintenance must, however, be traded off against the risks of overconfidence. Moreover, rational inference implies that the individual cannot systematically fool himself. The model explains why people often choose to remain ignorant about their true abilities, or 'blind' to important signals from their work, personal or market environment; and why they sometimes deliberately impair their own performance or choose overambitious tasks in which they are sure to fail (self-handicapping). It also provides a formal account of (endogenously) selective memory or awareness, such as the tendency to remember one's successes more than one's failures. This result, in turn, helps explain why most people have overoptimistic assessments of their own abilities and accomplishments (self-serving beliefs). Another important result is that this 'psychological immune system' can lead to multiple intrapersonal equilibria in cognitive strategies, self confidence, and behaviour. Moreover, while 'positive thinking' and similar forms of self--deception can improve ex-ante welfare, they can also be self-defeating.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economics Department, Princeton University in its series Princeton Economic Theory Papers with number 00s1.
Date of creation: Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 001 Fisher Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
Phone: (609) 258-4000
Fax: (609) 258-6419
Web page: http://www.princeton.edu/~ectheory/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- J - Labor and Demographic Economics
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2000.
"Self-Confidence and Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
7585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- R. Benabou & J. Tirole, 1999. "Self-Confidence and Social Interactions," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
- Benabou, R. & Tirole, J., 2000. "Self-Confidence and Social Interactions," Papers 210, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2012.
"Procrastination on Long-Term Projects,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt5zb60651, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Procrastination on Long-Term Projects," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303003, EconWPA.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Procrastination on Long-Term Projects," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5jv059fq, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Procrastination on Long-Term Projects," Working Papers 02-09, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Procrastination on Long-Term Projects," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1bz181nv, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2005. "Biases in Perceptions, Beliefs and Behavior," Levine's Bibliography 172782000000000063, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D, 2002. "Are We All Better Drivers than Average? Self-Perception and Biased Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3603, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2003.
"Collective Investment Decision Making with Heterogeneous Time Preferences,"
NBER Working Papers
9629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gollier, Christian & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Collective Investment Decision Making with Heterogeneous Time Preferences," IDEI Working Papers 198, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2003. "Collective Investment Decision Making with Heterogeneous Time Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 915, CESifo Group Munich.
- Juan D. Carrillo & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005.
"Promises, Promises, ..,"
172782000000000058, UCLA Department of Economics.
- D.Dragone, 2005. "Incoerenza Dinamica ed Autocontrollo: Proposta per un'Analisi Interdisciplinare," Working Papers 549, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- Carrillo, Juan D & Dewatripont, Mathias, 2001. "Promises, Promises…," CEPR Discussion Papers 2680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.