It Pays to Be Overconfident, Even When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

By Matthew Hutson – It’s certainly easy to come up with examples of overconfidence getting us into trouble — the Iraq War, the financial meltdown, that guy who challenged a heavyweight boxing champion to a fight last week — but overconfidence may actually be beneficial.

Two factors that may buoy the status of the obviously overconfident against the weight of censure: greater confidence leads to greater peer-rated social skill and greater peer-rated task ability, regardless of actual ability.

The researchers suspect that confidence increases leadership-like behavior, such as talkativeness and active engagement, and also reduces anxiety, which allows for more fluid interaction, and that these behaviors may make one seem more socially skilled. more>


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