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11/2009

DEPFID Working Paper 11 / 2009 - Abstract

 

Overconfident Behavior In Informational Cascades: An Eye-Tracking Study

Alessandro Innocenti*, Alessandra Rufa** and Jacopo Semmoloni***


This paper investigates the validity of the Dual Process theory by using eye-tracking methods to trace the process of attention during a non-preference-based problem solving task, i.e. informational cascades. In this setting, gaze direction may convey evidence on how automatic detection is modified or sustained by controlled search. We provide laboratory evidence that gaze direction is driven by cognitive biases, such as overconfidence. In particular, we find a significant statistical correlation between first fixations and subjects’ actual choices. Our results suggest that attentional strategies are not necessarily consistent with efficient patterns of information collecting.


Keywords: dual process theory, eye-tracking, cognitive biases, overconfidence, informational cascades.

JEL Classification: C91, D82, D83, D87

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* DEPFID and LabSi, University of Siena

** Department of Neurological and Behavioral Sciences, and Eye-Tracking & Vision Applications lab EVAlab, University of Siena

*** Eye-Tracking & Vision Applications lab EVAlab, University of Siena

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