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Previous research has shown that overconfidence, the belief that ability to perform a task is greater than actual ability, is associated with risky behavior (Campbell, Goodie, & Foster, 2004). The present research evaluated the relationship between overconfidence, risky behavior, and narcissism (confidence and feelings of self-sufficiency, often in the extreme). Male and female undergraduate participants were given a series of questionnaires and participated in several tasks to assess overconfidence, narcissism, risky behavior and the need for achievement. Participants were assigned to either an experimental condition, where participants bet on their ability to answer a series of general knowledge questions, or a control condition, where participants rated their confidence in their ability to answer the same series of general knowledge questions. To examine whether feedback had an effect on confidence, participants either received or did not receive feedback after answering each general knowledge question. We hypothesized that those who merely rated their confidence would show less signs of overconfidence than those who bet on the accuracy of their performance. Results have shown that the participants that were placed in the betting condition were notably more overconfident than those who were only asked to rate their confidence. We also predicted that narcissism would correlate with risky behavior in participants. Those who scored higher on a narcissism scale were also more likely to engage in risky behavior.

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Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Susan T. Davis

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Stander Symposium poster

The Relationship between Narcissism, Overconfidence and Risky Behavior