Rational Truth-Avoidance and Self-Esteem
We assume that people have beliefs about their abilities, that these generate self-esteem, and that self-esteem is valued intrinsically. Individuals face two choices; one of which strictly dominates the other in a pecuniary sense, but necessarily involves gathering information concerning one's (unobserved) ability. We lay out the circumstances under which an individual may find it rational to reject the dominant choice; an act which, in social psychology is described as avoiding the situation, but which we label truth-avoidance. We find that the incentive to avoid the truth is increasing in income and decreasing in self-esteem, the perceived accuracy of one's self-assessment, and the role which luck plays in generating opportunities.
|Date of creation:||May 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada|
Web page: http://www.sfu.ca/economics.html
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- Gervais, Simon & Odean, Terrance, 2001.
"Learning to be Overconfident,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
- Simon Gervais & Terrance Odean, "undated". "Learning To Be Overconfident," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 5-97, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Simon Gervais & Terrance Odean, "undated". "Learning To Be Overconfident," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 05-97, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.