False Consensus in Economic Agents
AbstractIn an incentivized experiment we identify a powerful and ubiquitous bias: individuals regard their own characteristics and choices as more common than is the case. We establish this "false consensus" bias in terms of happiness, political stance, mobile phone brand and on the attitude to deference in a hypothetical restaurant choice, and show that it is not limited to the distribution of hard to observe characteristics and choices but also to weight and height. We also show that the bias is not driven by the fact that the tallest, happiest, most left/right-wing, etc. are more salient. Key words: false consensus ; saliency ; biased beliefs ; happiness ; politics ; height, weight. JEL classification: D03 ; C83 ; D84
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 968.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
- D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-09-16 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-09-16 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2011-09-16 (Neuroeconomics)
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