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Betting on own knowledge: Experimental test of overconfidence


Blavatskyy, Pavlo R (2009). Betting on own knowledge: Experimental test of overconfidence. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 38(1):39-49.

Abstract

This paper presents a new incentive compatible method for measuring confidence in own knowledge. This method consists of two parts. First, an individual answers several general knowledge questions. Second, the individual chooses among three alternatives: (1) one question is selected at random and the individual receives a payoff if he or she has answered this question correctly; (2) the individual receives the same payoff with a probability equal to the percentage of correctly answered questions; (3) either the first or the second alternative is selected. The choice of the first (second) alternative reveals overconfidence (underconfidence). The individual is well calibrated if he or she chooses the third alternative. Experimental results show that subjects, on average, exhibit underconfidence about their own knowledge when the incentive compatible mechanism is used. Their confidence in own knowledge does not depend on their attitude towards risk/ambiguity.

Abstract

This paper presents a new incentive compatible method for measuring confidence in own knowledge. This method consists of two parts. First, an individual answers several general knowledge questions. Second, the individual chooses among three alternatives: (1) one question is selected at random and the individual receives a payoff if he or she has answered this question correctly; (2) the individual receives the same payoff with a probability equal to the percentage of correctly answered questions; (3) either the first or the second alternative is selected. The choice of the first (second) alternative reveals overconfidence (underconfidence). The individual is well calibrated if he or she chooses the third alternative. Experimental results show that subjects, on average, exhibit underconfidence about their own knowledge when the incentive compatible mechanism is used. Their confidence in own knowledge does not depend on their attitude towards risk/ambiguity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Accounting
Social Sciences & Humanities > Finance
Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:18 Jan 2010 13:52
Last Modified:23 Jan 2022 15:10
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0895-5646
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11166-008-9048-7

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