Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Illusion of control and the pursuit of authority

Sloof, Randolph
ISSN-Print: 1386-4157
ISSN-Online: 1573-6938
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2016
Keywords: Control preferences; Illusion of control; Allocation of decision rights

We measure participants' willingness to pay for transparently useless authority - the right to make a completely uninformed task decision. We further elicit participants' beliefs about receiving their preferred outcome if they make the decision themselves, and if another participant makes the decision for them. We find that participants pay more to make the decision themselves if they also believe that they can thus increase the probability of getting their preferred outcome. Illusion of control therefore exists in a controlled laboratory environment with monetary incentives and is connected to peoples' pursuit of authority.