IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/joepsy/v88y2022ics016748702100088x.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Biases in belief reports

Author

Listed:
  • Folli, Dominik
  • Wolff, Irenaeus

Abstract

Belief elicitation is important in many different fields of economic research. We show that how a researcher elicits such beliefs – in particular, whether the belief is about the participant’s opponent, an unrelated other, or the population of others – strongly affects the belief reports. We study the underlying processes and find a clear consensus effect. Yet, when matching the opponent’s action would lead to a low payoff and the researcher asks for the belief about this opponent, ex-post rationalization kicks in and beliefs are re-adjusted again. Hence, we recommend to ask about unrelated others or about the population in such cases, as ‘opponent beliefs’ are even more detached from the beliefs participants had when deciding about their actions in the corresponding game. We find no evidence of wishful thinking in any of the treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • Folli, Dominik & Wolff, Irenaeus, 2022. "Biases in belief reports," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:88:y:2022:i:c:s016748702100088x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2021.102458
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748702100088X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.joep.2021.102458?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Eliciting beliefs: Proper scoring rules, incentives, stakes and hedging," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 17-40.
    2. Rutström, E. Elisabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel T., 2009. "Stated beliefs versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 616-632, November.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Ariel Rubinstein & Yuval Salant, 2016. ""Isn't everyone like me?": On the presence of self-similarity in strategic interactions," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(2), pages 168-173, March.
    5. Mariana Blanco & Dirk Engelmann & Alexander Koch & Hans-Theo Normann, 2010. "Belief elicitation in experiments: is there a hedging problem?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 412-438, December.
    6. Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel, 2017. "Biased beliefs and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 186-202.
    7. Stefan T. Trautmann & Gijs Kuilen, 2015. "Belief Elicitation: A Horse Race among Truth Serums," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 2116-2135, December.
    8. Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey‐Biel, 2013. "Elicited beliefs and social information in modified dictator games: What do dictators believe other dictators do?," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(3), pages 515-547, November.
    9. Eline Heijden & Jan Nelissen & Jan Potters, 2007. "Opinions on the Tax Deductibility of Mortgages and the Consensus Effect," De Economist, Springer, vol. 155(2), pages 141-159, June.
    10. Ben Greiner, 2015. "Subject pool recruitment procedures: organizing experiments with ORSEE," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 114-125, July.
    11. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
    12. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
    13. Harrison, Glenn W. & Martínez-Correa, Jimmy & Swarthout, J. Todd, 2014. "Eliciting subjective probabilities with binary lotteries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 128-140.
    14. Andrew Schotter & Isabel Trevino, 2014. "Belief Elicitation in the Laboratory," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 103-128, August.
    15. David Danz & Dietmar Fehr & Dorothea Kübler, 2012. "Information and beliefs in a repeated normal-form game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(4), pages 622-640, December.
    16. Edi Karni, 2009. "A Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 603-606, March.
    17. Tanjim Hossain & Ryo Okui, 2013. "The Binarized Scoring Rule," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 984-1001.
    18. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kröger & Arthur van Soest, 2008. "Measuring Inequity Aversion in a Heterogeneous Population Using Experimental Decisions and Subjective Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 815-839, July.
    19. Guillaume Hollard & Sébastien Massoni & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2016. "In search of good probability assessors: an experimental comparison of elicitation rules for confidence judgments," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(3), pages 363-387, March.
    20. Khwaja, Ahmed & Sloan, Frank & Salm, Martin, 2006. "Evidence on preferences and subjective beliefs of risk takers: The case of smokers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 667-682, July.
    21. Peeters, Ronald & Vorsatz, Marc, 2021. "Simple guilt and cooperation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    22. Irenaeus Wolff, 2013. "When best-replies are not in Equilibrium: Understanding Cooperative Behaviour," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-28, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    23. Cooper, Russell & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1993. "Forward Induction in the Battle-of-the-Sexes Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1303-1316, December.
    24. Guillaume Hollard & Sébastien Massoni & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2016. "In search of good probability assessors: an experimental comparison of elicitation rules for confidence judgments," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01306258, HAL.
    25. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2015. "Evidential equilibria: Heuristics and biases in static games of complete information Working Paper Version," Discussion Papers in Economics 15/21, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    26. Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001. "Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
    27. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Wang, Stephanie W., 2009. "On eliciting beliefs in strategic games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 98-109, August.
    28. Wolff, Irenaeus, 2021. "The lottery player’s fallacy: Why labels predict strategic choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 16-29.
    29. Irenaeus Wolff, 2017. "Lucky Numbers in Simple Games," TWI Research Paper Series 107, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    30. Dhami, Sanjit, 2016. "The Foundations of Behavioral Economic Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198715535.
    31. Manski, Charles F., 2002. "Identification of decision rules in experiments on simple games of proposal and response," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 880-891, May.
    32. Joseph Engelberg & Charles F. Manski & Jared Williams, 2011. "Assessing the temporal variation of macroeconomic forecasts by a panel of changing composition," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1059-1078, November.
    33. András Molnár & Christophe Heintz, 2016. "Beliefs About People’s Prosociality Eliciting predictions in dictator games," CEU Working Papers 2016_1, Department of Economics, Central European University.
    34. Crosetto, Paolo & Filippin, Antonio & Katuščák, Peter & Smith, John, 2020. "Central tendency bias in belief elicitation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    35. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2000. "The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 241-260, December.
    36. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "When Optimal Choices Feel Wrong: A Laboratory Study of Bayesian Updating, Complexity, and Affect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1300-1309, September.
    37. Dominik Bauer & Irenaeus Wolff, 2018. "Biases in Beliefs: Experimental Evidence," TWI Research Paper Series 109, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    38. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
    39. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    40. Adeline Delavande & Xavier Giné & David McKenzie, 2011. "Eliciting probabilistic expectations with visual aids in developing countries: how sensitive are answers to variations in elicitation design?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 479-497, April.
    41. Manski, Charles F. & Neri, Claudia, 2013. "First- and second-order subjective expectations in strategic decision-making: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 232-254.
    42. Breitmoser, Yves, 2019. "Knowing me, imagining you: Projection and overbidding in auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 423-447.
    43. Irenaeus Wolff, 2018. "If I Don't Trust Your Preferences, I Won't Follow Mine: Preference Stability, Beliefs, and Strategic Choice," TWI Research Paper Series 113, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    44. Martinangeli, Andrea F.M., 2021. "Do what (you think) the rich will do: Inequality and belief heterogeneity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    45. Karl Schlag & James Tremewan & Joël Weele, 2015. "A penny for your thoughts: a survey of methods for eliciting beliefs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 457-490, September.
    46. 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.
    47. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
    48. Nicholas Epley & Thomas Gilovich, 2016. "The Mechanics of Motivated Reasoning," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 133-140, Summer.
    49. Sutter, Matthias & Czermak, Simon & Feri, Francesco, 2013. "Strategic sophistication of individuals and teams. Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 395-410.
    50. Heger, Stephanie A. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2018. "We should totally open a restaurant: How optimism and overconfidence affect beliefs," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 177-190.
    51. McKelvey, Richard D & Page, Talbot, 1990. "Public and Private Information: An Experimental Study of Information Pooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1321-1339, November.
    52. Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2009. "Equilibrium play and best response to (stated) beliefs in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 572-585, March.
    53. Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
    54. Dawes, Robyn M. & Mulford, Matthew, 1996. "The False Consensus Effect and Overconfidence: Flaws in Judgment or Flaws in How We Study Judgment?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 201-211, March.
    55. Engelmann, Dirk & Strobel, Martin, 2012. "Deconstruction and reconstruction of an anomaly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 678-689.
    56. Ruinstein, Ariel & Salant, Yuval, 2015. "\Isn't everyone like me?": On the presence of self-similarity in strategic interactions," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275834, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    57. Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Koh, Boon Han, 2020. "Replication: Belief elicitation with quadratic and binarized scoring rules," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    58. Christensen-Szalanski, Jay J. J. & Willham, Cynthia Fobian, 1991. "The hindsight bias: A meta-analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 147-168, February.
    59. Ali Al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2015. "Evidential Equilibria: Heuristics and Biases in Static Games of Complete Information," Games, MDPI, vol. 6(4), pages 1-40, November.
    60. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
    61. Charles A. Holt & Angela M. Smith, 2016. "Belief Elicitation with a Synchronized Lottery Choice Menu That Is Invariant to Risk Attitudes," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 110-139, February.
    62. Kyle Hyndman & Erkut Y. Ozbay & Andrew Schotter & Wolf Ze’ev Ehrblatt, 2012. "Convergence: An Experimental Study Of Teaching And Learning In Repeated Games," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 573-604, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dominik Bauer & Irenaeus Wolff, 2018. "Biases in Beliefs: Experimental Evidence," TWI Research Paper Series 109, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    2. Bauer, Dominik & Wolff, Irenaeus, 2019. "Biases in Beliefs," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203601, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Rasocha, Vlastimil, 2021. "Experimental methods: Eliciting beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 234-256.
    4. Eyting, Markus & Schmidt, Patrick, 2021. "Belief elicitation with multiple point predictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    5. Polonio, Luca & Coricelli, Giorgio, 2019. "Testing the level of consistency between choices and beliefs in games using eye-tracking," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 566-586.
    6. Lata Gangadharan & Philip J. Grossman & Nina Xue, 2021. "Identifying self-image concerns from motivated beliefs: Does it matter how and whom you ask?," Monash Economics Working Papers 2021-17, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    7. Karl Schlag & James Tremewan & Joël Weele, 2015. "A penny for your thoughts: a survey of methods for eliciting beliefs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 457-490, September.
    8. Claudia Neri, 2015. "Eliciting beliefs in continuous-choice games: a double auction experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 569-608, December.
    9. Stefan T. Trautmann & Gijs Kuilen, 2015. "Belief Elicitation: A Horse Race among Truth Serums," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 2116-2135, December.
    10. Karl Schlag & James Tremewan & Joël Weele, 2015. "A penny for your thoughts: a survey of methods for eliciting beliefs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 457-490, September.
    11. Kai Barron, 2021. "Belief updating: does the ‘good-news, bad-news’ asymmetry extend to purely financial domains?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 31-58, March.
    12. Despoina Alempaki & Andrew M. Colman & Felix Kölle & Graham Loomes & Briony D. Pulford, 2022. "Investigating the failure to best respond in experimental games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 25(2), pages 656-679, April.
    13. Alex Possajennikov, 2018. "Belief formation in a signaling game without common prior: an experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(3), pages 483-505, May.
    14. Burdea, Valeria & Woon, Jonathan, 2022. "Online belief elicitation methods," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    15. Markus Eyting & Patrick Schmidt, 2019. "Belief Elicitation with Multiple Point Predictions," Working Papers 1818, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 16 Nov 2020.
    16. Lata Gangadharan & Philip J. Grossman & Nina Xue, 2022. "Identifying self-image concerns from motivated beliefs: Does it matter how and whom you ask?," Monash Economics Working Papers 2022-05, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    17. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Eliciting beliefs: Proper scoring rules, incentives, stakes and hedging," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 17-40.
    18. Nosenzo, Daniele & Tufano, Fabio, 2017. "The effect of voluntary participation on cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 307-319.
    19. Manski, Charles F. & Neri, Claudia, 2013. "First- and second-order subjective expectations in strategic decision-making: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 232-254.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Belief elicitation; Belief formation; Belief-action consistency; Framing effects; Projection; Consensus effect; Wishful thinking; Ex-post rationalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:88:y:2022:i:c:s016748702100088x. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.