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A status-enhancement account of overconfidence

Author

Listed:
  • Anderson, Cameron
  • Brion, Sebastien
  • Moore, Don A.
  • Kennedy, Jessica A.

Abstract

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 person’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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Cameron & Brion, Sebastien & Moore, Don A. & Kennedy, Jessica A., 2012. "A status-enhancement account of overconfidence," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt6s5812wf, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt6s5812wf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kennedy, Jessica A. & Anderson, Cameron & Moore, Don A., 2013. "When overconfidence is revealed to others: Testing the status-enhancement theory of overconfidence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 266-279.
    2. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:93-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kihyun Lee & Yeon Joo Chae & Inyong Shin, 2016. "Motivational antecedents of leader-member exchange differentiation: Evidence from South Korea," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 87-112, March.
    4. Kilduff, Gavin J. & Anderson, Cameron & Willer, Robb, 2013. "Consensus and Contribution: Shared Status Hierarchies Promote Group Success," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt77q7n684, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    5. Peter Schwardmann & Joël van der Weele, 2016. "Deception and Self-Deception," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-012/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-01243584 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. H Emre Yildiz & Carl F Fey, 2016. "Are the extent and effect of psychic distance perceptions symmetrical in cross-border M&As? Evidence from a two-country study," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(7), pages 830-857, September.
    8. Louis Levy-Garboua & Muniza Askari & Marco Gazel, 2015. "Confidence Biases and Learning among Intuitive Bayesians," CIRANO Working Papers 2015s-51, CIRANO.
    9. Hügelschäfer, Sabine & Achtziger, Anja, 2014. "On confident men and rational women: It’s all on your mind(set)," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 31-44.
    10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13772 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kausel, Edgar E. & Culbertson, Satoris S. & Leiva, Pedro I. & Slaughter, Jerel E. & Jackson, Alexander T., 2015. "Too arrogant for their own good? Why and when narcissists dismiss advice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 33-50.
    12. Sah, Sunita & Moore, Don A. & MacCoun, Robert J., 2013. "Cheap talk and credibility: The consequences of confidence and accuracy on advisor credibility and persuasiveness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 246-255.
    13. repec:bla:jomstd:v:54:y:2017:i:1:p:1-31 is not listed on IDEAS

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