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The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given


  • Dirk Engelmann


  • Martin Strobel



We present an experiment on the false consensus effect. Unlike previous experiments, we provide monetary incentives for revealing the actual estimation of others' behavior. In each session and round, sixteen subjects make a choice between two options simultaneously. Then they estimate the choices of a randomly selected subgroup. For half of the rounds we provide information about other subjects' choices. There we find no false consensus effect. At an aggregate level, subjects significantly underweight rather than overweight their choices. When we do not provide information, the presence of a false consensus effect cannot be detected. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:3:y:2000:i:3:p:241-260
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011472501737

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
    2. Jacobsen, Eva & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1996. "Experimental Proof for the Motivational Importance of Reciprocity," Discussion Paper Serie B 386, University of Bonn, Germany.
    3. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
    4. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-845, July.
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    More about this item


    false consensor; 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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