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Self-Centered Beliefs : An Empirical Approach

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  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    (University of Warwick and CAGE)

Abstract

We perform an experiment designed to assess the accuracy of beliefs about distributions. The beliefs relate to behavior (mobile phone purchasing decisions, hypothetical restaurant choices), attitudes (happiness, politics) and observable characteristics (height, weight) and are typically formed through real world experiences. We nd a powerful and ubiquitous bias in perceptions that is \self-centered" in the sense that an individual's beliefs about the population distribution changes with their own position in the distribution. In particular, those at extremes tend to perceive themselves as closer to the middle of the distribution than is the case. We discuss possible explanations for this bias. Key words: subjective beliefs ; attitudes ; observable characteristics ; self-centered bias JEL classification: D03 ; C83 ; D84

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 978.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:978

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  1. Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
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  7. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
  8. Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation," Working Papers 2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  9. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Juan Dubra & Jean-Pierre Benoit, 2011. "Apparent Overconfidence," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1106, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
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  1. We all have self-centered beliefs about others
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-03-20 14:29:00

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