Lionel Page (Queenland)
(with Greg Kubitz and Claudio Mezzetti)
Motivated reasoning is a phenomenon in which people shape their beliefs to align with their preferences. This behavior has been deemed to result in overconfidence, or the tendency for people to overestimate their abilities and qualities. There are two proposed explanations for this bias: the pleasure of holding positive beliefs about oneself, and the strategic benefits of convincing others through self-deception. In this paper, we follow this second line of explanation and propose a model of persuasion through self-persuasion, in which an agent can rationally form convenient posterior beliefs (beliefs that lead to benefits for the agent) in order to influence the actions of another agent. Through Bayesian updating, the first agent can choose an information signal with a distribution of posteriors that is beneficial in strategic interactions by allowing her to send credible signals of confidence to the second agent more often. This model provides a rational explanation for the strategic benefits of confident beliefs.
Room 11.038, Level 11, The Spot (198 Berkeley Street, Carlton)