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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%.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03213711
Contributor : Touria Bagard <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 30, 2021 - 3:28:09 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:44:18 PM

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

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