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Deception and Self-Deception

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Schwardmann

    (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany)

  • Joël van der Weele

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the determinants of overconfidence and test the hypothesis, advanced by Robert Trivers, that overconfidence serves to more effectively persuade or deceive others. After performing a cognitively challenging task, half of our subjects are informed about the possibility of earning money by convincing others of their high relative performance in a structured face-to-face interaction. Privately elicited beliefs show that informed participants are 50% more overconfident than those in a control condition, and are less responsive to objective feedback on their performance. Using random variation in confidence generated by our feedback mechanism, we find that increased confidence indeed causes higher evaluations in the ensuing interactions, unless the evaluators have been explicitly instructed to watch out for lies. These results support the idea that confidence is a strategic variable in human interaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Schwardmann & Joël van der Weele, 2016. "Deception and Self-Deception," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-012/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20160012
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/16012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Labour's credibility problem
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2016-03-12 17:18:37

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:93-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dargnies, Marie-Pierre & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2016. "Self-confidence and unraveling in matching markets," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-210, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Barron, Kai, 2016. "Belief updating: Does the 'good-news, bad-news' asymmetry extend to purely financial domains?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2016-309, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overconfidence; belief formation; self-deception; deception;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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