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Keeping the illusion of control under control: Ceilings, floors, and imperfect calibration

  • Gino, Francesca
  • Sharek, Zachariah
  • Moore, Don A.
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    Prior research has claimed that people exaggerate probabilities of success by overestimating personal control in situations that are heavily or completely chance-determined. We examine whether such overestimation of control persists in situations where people do have control. Our results suggest a simple model that accounts for prior findings on illusory control as well as for situations where actual control is high: People make imperfect estimates of their level of control. By focusing on situations marked by low control, prior research has created the illusion that people generally overestimate their level of control. Across three studies, we show that when they have a great deal of control, people under-estimate it. Implications for research on perceived control and co-variation assessment are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WP2-51F1SGG-1/2/83ed14cdef8828bfcf1448e326eeceab
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 114 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 104-114

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:114:y:2011:i:2:p:104-114
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

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    1. Juslin, Peter, 1994. "The Overconfidence Phenomenon as a Consequence of Informal Experimenter-Guided Selection of Almanac Items," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 226-246, February.
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    5. Larrick, Richard P. & Burson, Katherine A. & Soll, Jack B., 2007. "Social comparison and confidence: When thinking you're better than average predicts overconfidence (and when it does not)," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 76-94, January.
    6. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
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