UC Berkeley Institute of Personality and Social Research



The Epistemology of Overconfidence: On the difficulty of being both wrong and knowing it

Presenter: Don Moore, Professor, BerkeleyHaas

Wed, Nov 14, 2018, 12:10 pm to 1:15 pm

2121 Berkeley Way, Room 1104

In this talk, I begin by distinguishing three forms of overconfidence: overestimation, overplacement, and overprecision. Of these, overprecision (inflated confidence in the accuracy of our knowledge or predictions) is the most robust and least understood. I document its role in self-assessment, test performance, and macroeconomic forecasts. This leads to an epistemological exploration regarding what it means to be overprecise: the challenge of being both wrong and knowing it; that is, holding beliefs about which one is appropriately skeptical, and well-calibrated about the possibility that one’s beliefs are incorrect. I then offer a new theory to account for the evidence and test some of its novel predictions. 

Attached Documents