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Journal Articles European Economic Review Year : 2019

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

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%.

Dates and versions

hal-03213711 , version 1 (30-04-2021)

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Stefania Innocenti, Robin Cowan. Self-efficacy beliefs and imitation : A two-armed bandit experiment. European Economic Review, 2019, 113, pp.156-172. ⟨10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.12.009⟩. ⟨hal-03213711⟩
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