False Consensus in Economic Agents

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Working paper
Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi
Issue number: 
University of Warwick
In an incentivized experiment we identify a powerful and ubiquitous bias: in-dividuals regard their own characteristics and choices as more common than is the case. We establish this \false consensus" bias in terms of happiness, political stance, mobile phone brand and on the attitude to deference in a hypothetical restaurant choice, and show that it is not limited to the distribution of hard to ob-serve characteristics and choices but also to weight and height. We also show that the bias is not driven by the fact that the tallest, happiest, most left/right-wing, etc. are more salient.
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