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Deconstruction and reconstruction of an anomaly

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  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Strobel, Martin

Abstract

We present a striking example of the deconstruction and reconstruction of an anomaly. In line with previous experiments we show in a one-shot setting that the allegedly robust false consensus effect disappears if representative information is readily available. But the effect reappears if a small cognitive effort is required to retrieve the information. Most subjects apparently ignore valuable information if it is not handed to them on a silver platter. We conclude that the relevance of the false consensus effect depends on the difficulty of retrieving the information and that the underlying mechanism is an information processing deficiency rather than egocentricity. Moreover, we discuss the potential relevance of our findings for other well-known effects like the winnerʼs curse and overconfidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Engelmann, Dirk & Strobel, Martin, 2012. "Deconstruction and reconstruction of an anomaly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 678-689.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:76:y:2012:i:2:p:678-689 DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2012.07.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2015. "Trust, trustworthiness and the consensus effect: An evolutionary approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 102-116.
    2. Tasoff, Joshua & Letzler, Robert, 2014. "Everyone believes in redemption: Nudges and overoptimism in costly task completion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 107-122.
    3. Khalmetski, Kiryl, 2016. "Testing guilt aversion with an exogenous shift in beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 110-119.
    4. Pierluigi Conzo, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunam," CSEF Working Papers 355, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 20 Apr 2015.
    5. James Tremewan & Chloé Le Coq & Alexander D. Wagner, 2013. "Social Centipedes: the Impact of Group Identity on Preferences and Reasoning," Vienna Economics Papers 1305, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    6. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2014. "Preferences and beliefs in a sequential social dilemma: a within-subjects analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 122-135.
    7. Fišar, Miloš & Kubák, Matúš & Špalek, Jiři & Tremewan, James, 2016. "Gender differences in beliefs and actions in a framed corruption experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 69-82.
    8. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2010. "Testing guilt aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 95-107, January.
    9. Le Coq, Chloé & Tremewan, James & Wagner, Alexander K., 2015. "On the effects of group identity in strategic environments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 239-252.
    10. Nosenzo, Daniele & Tufano, Fabio, 2017. "The effect of voluntary participation on cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 307-319.
    11. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:186-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Breitmoser, Yves, 2015. "Knowing me, imagining you: Projection and overbidding in auctions," MPRA Paper 62052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Engelmann, Dirk & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2013. "Tailored Bayesian Mechanisms: Experimental Evidence from Two-Stage Voting Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 9544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Daniele Nosenzo & Fabio Tufano, 2015. "Entry or Exit? The Effect of Voluntary Participation on Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2015-20, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    15. Breitmoser, Yves, 2017. "Knowing Me, Imagining You:," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 36, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    16. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:15-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel, 2017. "Biased beliefs and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 186-202.
    18. Proeger, Till & Meub, Lukas, 2014. "Overconfidence as a social bias: Experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 203-207.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anomalies; False consensus; Information processing; Experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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