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Excessive confidence in visually-based estimates


  • Andrade, Eduardo B.


People exhibit excessive confidence in visually-based estimates, which in turn biases decision making. Three experiments support this assertion. Experiment 1 shows a strong impact of presentation format on estimation of proportions. Experiment 2 shows that people rely on these erroneous estimates to make incentive-compatible decisions even when objective information can be easily obtained. Experiment 3 demonstrates that the biased decisions disappear when confidence in visually-based estimates is called into question by the perceived complexity of the stimulus.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrade, Eduardo B., 2011. "Excessive confidence in visually-based estimates," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 252-261.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:2:p:252-261
    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.07.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alba, Joseph W & Hutchinson, J Wesley, 2000. " Knowledge Calibration: What Consumers Know and What They Think They Know," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 123-156, September.
    2. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 251-278, October.
    3. Conlisk, John, 1993. "The Utility of Gambling," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 255-275, June.
    4. Weber, Elke U & Kirsner, Britt, 1997. "Reasons for Rank-Dependent Utility Evaluation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 41-61, January.
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