Beidi Hu is a fourth-year PhD student in the Decision Processes group. Prior to her doctoral studies at Wharton, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA with Honors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Abstract: Can overconfidence be reduced by asking people to provide a belief distribution over all possible outcomes – that is, by asking them to indicate how likely all possible outcomes are? Although prior research suggests that the answer is “yes,” that research suffers from methodological confounds that muddle its interpretation. In our research, we remove these confounds to investigate whether providing a belief distribution truly reduces overconfidence. In 10 studies, participants made predictions about upcoming sports games or other participants’ preferences, and then indicated their confidence in these predictions using rating scales, likelihood judgments, and/or incentivized wagers. Contrary to prior research, and to our own expectations, we find that providing a belief distribution usually increases overconfidence, because doing so seems to reinforce people’s prior beliefs.