Are the Unskilled Really that Unaware? Understanding Seemingly Biased Self-Assessments

CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 373

56 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2009

See all articles by Marian Krajc

Marian Krajc

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Date Written: November 1, 2008

Abstract

The so-called unskilled-and-unaware problem was experimentally identified a decade ago: The unskilled are seemingly afflicted by a double curse because they also seem unaware of their (relative) lack of skills. Numerous authors have elaborated on this problem - experimentally as well as theoretically. In this paper, we report on the results of three experiments (one field, two laboratory) through which we test a theoretical model and some informal extensions. Specifically, we examine the impact of general information and specific information (feedback) on the quality of self-assessment (“calibration”) in various tasks and under various conditions. Overconfidence behavior initially prevails in almost all settings. We find a strong positive effect of general information on calibration, and show that calibration improves more when feedback is provided. In our experiments, it is the unskilled who improve their calibration the most.

Keywords: calibration, judgement errors, unskilled, unaware, metacognition, experiment

JEL Classification: C46, C91, C93, D01, D81, D83, D84

Suggested Citation

Krajc, Marian, Are the Unskilled Really that Unaware? Understanding Seemingly Biased Self-Assessments (November 1, 2008). CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 373, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1483793 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1483793

Marian Krajc (Contact Author)

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences ( email )

Politickych veznu 7
Prague, 111 21
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://www.cerge-ei.cz

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
76
Abstract Views
669
Rank
574,128
PlumX Metrics