Debiasing Egocentrism And Optimism Biases In Repeated Competitions

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew Smith Ph.D, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: When judging their likelihood of success in competitive tasks, people tend to be overoptimistic for easy tasks and overpessimistic for hard tasks (the shared circumstance effect; SCE). Previous research has shown that feedback and experience from repeated-play competitions has a limited impact on SCEs. However, in this paper, we suggest that competitive situations, in which the shared difficulty or easiness of the task is more transparent, will be more amenable to debiasing via repeated play. Pairs of participants competed in, made predictions about, and received feedback on, multiple rounds of a throwing task involving both easy- and hard-to-aim objects. Participants initially showed robust SCEs, but they also showed a significant reduction in bias after only one round of feedback. These and other results support a more positive view (than suggested from past research) on the potential for SCEs to be debiased through outcome feedback.

Additional Information

Rose, J. P., Windschitl, P. D., & Smith, A. R. (2012) "Debiasing egocentrism and optimism biases in repeated competitions" Judgment & Decision Making, 7, 761-767 Version of Record available @(
Language: English
Date: 2012
egocentrism, shared-circumstance-effect, comparative-judgement, optimism, feedback and experience

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