Self-Confidence and Social Interactions
This paper studies the interactions between an individual's self esteem and his social environment in the workplace, at school, and in personal relationships. Because a person generally has only imperfect knowledge of his own abilities, people who derive benefits from his performance (parent, spouse, friend, teacher, manager, etc.) have incentives to manipulate his self confidence. We first study situations where an informed principal chooses an incentive structure, such as offering payments or rewards, delegating a task, or giving encouragement. We show that extrinsic rewards may have hidden costs as stressed by psychologists in that they undermine intrinsic motivation. As a result, they may be only weak reinforcers in the short run, and become negative reinforcers once withdrawn. Similarly, empowerment is likely to increase motivation, while offers of help may create a dependance. More generally, we identify when the hidden costs of rewards are a myth or a reality. We next consider situations where people criticize or downplay the performance of their spouse, child, colleague, or subordinate. We formalize ego bashing as reflecting battles for dominance or authority within the relationship. Finally, we turn to the self presentation strategies of privately informed agents. We study in particular how depressed individuals may engage in self-deprecation as a way of seeking leniency (a lowering of expectancies) or a helping hand' on various obligations.
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|Date of creation:||Dec 1999|
|Date of revision:|
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- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2000.
"Self-Confidence: Intrapersonal Strategies,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2580, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- R. Benabou & J. Tirole, 1999. "Self-Confidence: Intrapersonal Strategies," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
- Benabou, R. & Tirole, J., 2000. "Self-Confidence: Intrapersonal Strategies," Papers 209, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994.
"Normal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1988.
"Repeated Auctions of Incentive Contracts, Investment, and Bidding Parity with an Application to Takeovers,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 516-537, Winter.
- Laffont, J. J. & Tirole, J., 1988. "Repeated Auctions of Incentive Contracts, Investment and Bidding Parity with an Application to Takeovers," Working Papers 675, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1987. "Repeated Auctions of Incentive Contracts, Investment and Bidding Parity With an Application to Takeovers," Working papers 463, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982.
"Strategic Information Transmission,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
- Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
- Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
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