Overconfidence is a robust cognitive bias with far-reaching implications, but prior research on cultural differences in overconfidence has been conflicting. We present two studies that measure the three forms of overconfidence across cultures, allowing us to paint a more complete picture of cross-cultural overconfidence than previous studies. In Study 1, we compare overconfidence among participants from cultures traditionally considered individualistic (the US and UK) with participants from cultures traditionally conceptualized as collectivistic (India and China). In Study 2, we employ a new task to compare overconfidence in participants from the US and India. Our first key result is the successful cross-cultural replication, in both studies, of the effect of task difficulty on overestimation and overplacement, which bolsters our faith that our measures operate similarly across cultures. Our second key finding is that, while we find evidence of higher overestimation in our Indian participants, neither overplacement nor overprecision show consistent cross-cultural differences. Taken as a whole, our results suggest that previous findings of increased overconfidence in participants from collectivistic cultures may not be as robust as previously reported.
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