When Feeling Skillful Impairs Coordination in a Lottery Selection Task Academic Article uri icon


  • Choosing a major field of study to secure a good job after graduation is a tacit coordination problem that requires considering others' choices. We examine how feeling skillful, either induced (Experiment 1) or measured (Experiment 2), affects coordination in this type of task. In both experiments participants chose between two lotteries, one offering a larger prize than the other. Participants' entry into the chosen lottery was either related or unrelated to their skill, with the final prize allocated randomly to one of the entrants in each lottery. Importantly, across conditions skill was irrelevant to choosing between lotteries. Notwithstanding, when skill was related to determining lottery entrants, participants who felt highly skillful chose the high prize lottery excessively. Results further suggest that this stems from high confidence in self skill, rather than incorrect expectations regarding others. 2013 Dorfman et al.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013