Wide of the Mark: Evidence on the Underlying Causes of Overprecision in Judgment

39 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020

See all articles by Don A. Moore

Don A. Moore

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Ashli Carter

Columbia University

Heather Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: September 6, 2015

Abstract

Over-precision is the most robust and least understood form of overconfidence. In an attempt to elucidate the underlying causes of over-precision in judgment, the present paper offers a new approach — examining people’s beliefs about the likelihood of chance events drawn from known probability distributions. This approach allows us to test the assumption that low hit rates inside subjective confidence intervals arise because those confidence intervals are drawn too narrowly. In fact, subjective probability distributions are systematically too wide, or insufficiently precise. This result raises profound questions for the study of overconfidence.

Suggested Citation

Moore, Don A. and Carter, Ashli and Yang, Heather, Wide of the Mark: Evidence on the Underlying Causes of Overprecision in Judgment (September 6, 2015). Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 131, 110-120, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3647338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3647338

Don A. Moore (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Ashli Carter

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Heather Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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