Learning to avoid the winner's curse

Peter Foreman, J. Keith Murnighan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The winner's curse is frequently observed in auctions: The person who bids the most and wins the auction may ultimately regret the bid since it often exceeds the value of the object being auctioned. Ball, Bazerman, and Carroll (1991) have shown that repeated experience as a bidder leads to little learning and repeated winner's curses. The current study investigated whether feedback and relevant experience could contribute to bidders learning to avoid the winner's curse in the two tasks that have dominated winners' curse research. The results showed that experience had little impact and that additional feedback reduced overbidding but never extinguished the winners' curse; instead, it was pervasive and highly resistant to learning. High endowments and limited feedback, in particular, led to the most extreme curses. The results are discussed with respect to the emotions associated with winning and the emotional bases of risky decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Learning to avoid the winner's curse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this