Estimating the relationship between skill and overconfidence

J. Feld*, J. Sauermann, A. de Grip

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

115 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The Dunning-Kruger effect states that low performers vastly overestimate their performance while high performers more accurately assess their performance. Researchers usually interpret this empirical pattern as evidence that the low skilled are vastly overconfident while the high skilled are more accurate in assessing their skill. However, measurement error alone can lead to a negative relationship between performance and overestimation, even if skill and overconfidence are unrelated. To clarify the role of measurement error, we restate the Dunning-Kruger effect in terms of skill and overconfidence. We show that we can correct for bias caused by measurement error with an instrumental variable approach that uses a second performance as instrument. We then estimate the Dunning-Kruger effect in the context of the exam grade predictions of economics students, using their grade point average as an instrument for their exam grade. Our results show that the unskilled are more overconfident than the skilled. However, as we predict in our methodological discussion, this relationship is significantly weaker than ordinary least squares estimates suggest. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Volume68
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Dunning-Kruger effect
  • Overconfidence
  • Judgment error
  • Measurement error
  • Instrumental variable
  • UNAWARE
  • PERFORMANCE

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating the relationship between skill and overconfidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this