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Self-efficacy beliefs and imitation: A two-armed bandit experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Stefania Innocenti

    (University of Oxford [Oxford], Maastricht University [Maastricht])

  • Robin Cowan

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

It is generally believed that individuals imitate others to gain status, minimise regret or simply ameliorate their performance. Psychology provides a complementary explanation: imitation becomes appealing when agents have little faith in their abilities. We investigate the extent to which self-efficacy beliefs affect agents' propensities to imitate others. We propose an experimental task, which is a modified version of the two-armed bandit. We measure participants' self-assessed self-efficacy, then study individual learning. Subsequently, we measure how individuals use the information they gather observing a randomly selected group leader. We find that, in stable environments, a 1% increase in individual self-efficacy reduces the propensity to imitate others by 3%.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefania Innocenti & Robin Cowan, 2019. "Self-efficacy beliefs and imitation: A two-armed bandit experiment," Post-Print hal-03213711, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03213711
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.12.009
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03213711
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