The Misperception of Norms: The Psychology of Bias and the Economics of Equilibrium
This study combines the psychology of bias and the economics of equilibrium. We focus on two of the most discussed perceptual biases found by psychologists who studied the role social norms in ethical decision making. First, psychologists found a general tendency of people to over-estimate how many other people engage in unethical behavior. We show that this bias causes more people to violate the norm than if the bias were corrected. Second, psychologists found a general tendency of a person to over-estimate how many other people act the same as he does. We show that this bias does not change the number of people who violate the norm, contrary to the predictions of some psychologists. When a person suffers from both biases, they can augment or undermine each other. In either case, we show that supplying accurate information will cause more people to conform to the norm. In general, we show that applying the equilibrium concept to psychological studies improves public policy recommendations by increasing precision in predicting aggregate behavior over time.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 4 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rle|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dhammika Dharmapala & Richard H. McAdams, 2005. "Words That Kill? An Economic Model of the Influence of Speech on Behavior (with Particular Reference to Hate Speech)," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 93-136, 01.
- Wenzel, Michael, 2005. "Misperceptions of social norms about tax compliance: From theory to intervention," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 862-883, December.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Lars P. Feld & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Why People Obey the Law: Experimental Evidence from the Provision of Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 651, CESifo Group Munich.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:4:y:2008:i:3:n:7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.