Self-efficacy beliefs and imitation: A two-armed bandit experiment

Stefania Innocenti*, Robin Cowan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

It is generally believed that individuals imitate others to gain status, minimise regret or simply ameliorate their performance. Psychology provides a complementary explanation: imitation becomes appealing when agents have little faith in their abilities. We investigate the extent to which self-efficacy beliefs affect agents’ propensities to imitate others. We propose an experimental task, which is a modified version of the two-armed bandit. We measure participants’ self-assessed self-efficacy, then study individual learning. Subsequently, we measure how individuals use the information they gather observing a randomly selected group leader. We find that, in stable environments, a 1% increase in individual self-efficacy reduces the propensity to imitate others by 3%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-172
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Learning
  • Imitation
  • Laboratory experiment
  • Self-efficacy beliefs
  • GAMES
  • MODEL
  • OVERCONFIDENCE
  • MECHANISMS
  • EVOLUTION
  • FREQUENCY
  • BEHAVIOR

Cite this