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Over-confidence and low-cost heuristics: An experimental investigation of choice behavior

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  • Cicognani, Simona
  • Mittone, Luigi

Abstract

This paper extends choice theory by allowing for the interaction between cognitive costs and imitative dynamics. The authors experimentally investigate the role of imitation when participants face a task which is costly in cognitive terms. In order to disentangle different choice dynamics, they devise a laboratory experiment with a novel experimental task in which they model the choice of different alternatives through high or low cognitive costs and feedback information provided to subjects. Their results provide evidence for imitative behavior driven by under-confidence about own skills and by the beliefs regarding others' performance. They also find a temporal pattern in the distribution of choices, both in the high-cost and low-cost cognitive conditions, that may represent another cognitive shortcut.

Suggested Citation

  • Cicognani, Simona & Mittone, Luigi, 2014. "Over-confidence and low-cost heuristics: An experimental investigation of choice behavior," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201436
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2014-36
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/103559/1/800966066.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Pokorny, Kathrin, 2008. "Pay--but do not pay too much: An experimental study on the impact of incentives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 251-264, May.
    5. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2009. "Peer Effects and Social Networks in Education," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1239-1267.
    6. Victoria Prowse & David Gill, 2009. "A Novel Computerized Real Effort Task Based on Sliders," Economics Series Working Papers 435, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Anna Conte & Daniela Di Cagno & Emanuela Sciubba, 2009. "Strategies in Social Network Formation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-095, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    8. Peter E. Earl & Jason Potts, 2004. "The market for preferences," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 619-633, July.
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    12. Julie Beugnot & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Social Networks and Peer Effects at Work," Cahiers de recherche 1320, CIRPEE.
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    14. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Learning by experience and learning by imitating successful others," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 559-575, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Cicognani & P. Figini & M. Magnani, 2016. "Social Influence Bias in Online Ratings: A Field Experiment," Working Papers wp1060, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Belief; cognitive costs; decision making; laboratory experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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