A status-enhancement account of overconfidence
In explaining the prevalence of the overconfident belief that one is better than others, prior work has focused on the motive to maintain high self-esteem, abetted by biases in attention, memory, and cognition.An additional possibility is that overconfidence enhances the personâ€™s social status.We tested this status-enhancing account of overconfidence in six studies. Studies 1 through 3 found overconfidence leads to higher social status in both short and longer-term groups, using naturalistic and experimental designs. Study 4 applied a Brunswikian (1956) lens analysis and found that overconfidence leads to a behavioral signature that makes the individual appear competent to others. Studies 5 and 6 measured and experimentally manipulated the desire for status and found that the status motive promotes overconfidence. Together, these studies suggest that people might so often believe they are better than others because it helps them achieve higher social status.
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- 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.
- Luís Santos-Pinto & Joel Sobel, 2005. "A Model of Positive Self-Image in Subjective Assessments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1386-1402, December.
- Moore, Don A., 2007. "Not so above average after all: When people believe they are worse than average and its implications for theories of bias in social comparison," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 42-58, January.
- Edwards, Jeffrey R., 1994. "The Study of Congruence in Organizational Behavior Research: Critique and a Proposed Alternative," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 51-100, April.
- Kennedy, Jessica A. & Anderson, Cameron & Moore, Don A., 2011. "Social Reactions to Overconfidence: Do the Costs of Overconfidence Outweigh the Benefits?," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt2p7835vm, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- Moore, Don A. & Klein, William M.P., 2008. "Use of absolute and comparative performance feedback in absolute and comparative judgments and decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 60-74, September.
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