IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26595.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Motivated Errors

Author

Listed:
  • Christine L. Exley
  • Judd B. Kessler

Abstract

In three sets of experiments involving over 4,200 subjects, we show that agents motivated to be selfish make systematic decision errors of the kind generally attributed to cognitive limitations or behavioral biases. We show that these decision errors are eliminated (or dramatically reduced) when self-serving motives are removed. We say that individuals make "motivated errors." They make decision errors, but only when it is self-serving to do so.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine L. Exley & Judd B. Kessler, 2019. "Motivated Errors," NBER Working Papers 26595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26595
    Note: PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26595.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "I don't want to hear about it: Rational ignorance among duty-oriented consumers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 263-274, August.
    2. Xavier Gabaix, 2014. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1661-1710.
    3. Camelia M. Kuhnen, 2015. "Asymmetric Learning from Financial Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(5), pages 2029-2062, October.
    4. Grossman, Zachary & Owens, David, 2012. "An unlucky feeling: Overconfidence and noisy feedback," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 510-524.
    5. Jacobsen, Karin J. & Eika, Kari H. & Helland, Leif & Lind, Jo Thori & Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "Are nurses more altruistic than real estate brokers?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 818-831.
    6. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Lee, Scott S., 2014. "Awards unbundled: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 44-63.
    7. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2014. "Applying Insights from Behavioral Economics to Policy Design," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 663-688, August.
    8. Jo?l J. van der Weele & Julija Kulisa & Michael Kosfeld & Guido Friebel, 2014. "Resisting Moral Wiggle Room: How Robust Is Reciprocal Behavior?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 256-264, August.
    9. Botond Koszegi & Adam Szeidl, 2013. "A Model of Focusing in Economic Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 53-104.
    10. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo & Stephanie W. Wang & Colin F. Camerer, 2014. "Imperfect Choice or Imperfect Attention? Understanding Strategic Thinking in Private Information Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 944-970.
    11. Astrid Matthey & Tobias Regner, 2011. "Do I Really Want to Know? A Cognitive Dissonance-Based Explanation of Other-Regarding Behavior," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, February.
    12. Tobias Regner, 2018. "Reciprocity under moral wiggle room: Is it a preference or a constraint?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 779-792, December.
    13. Heger, Stephanie A. & Papageorge, Nicholas W., 2018. "We should totally open a restaurant: How optimism and overconfidence affect beliefs," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 177-190.
    14. Ertac, Seda, 2011. "Does self-relevance affect information processing? Experimental evidence on the response to performance and non-performance feedback," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 532-545.
    15. Peter Schwardmann & Egon Tripodi & Joël J. van der Weele, 2019. "Self-Persuasion: Evidence from Field Experiments at Two International Debating Competitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 7946, CESifo Group Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Charles Bellemare & Marvin Deversi & Florian Englmaier, 2019. "Complexity and Distributive Fairness Interact in Affecting Compliance Behavior," CESifo Working Paper Series 7899, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26595. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.