Cognitive Flexibility or Moral Commitment? Evidence of Anticipated Belief Distortion
Silvia Saccardo and
No 8529, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo
Do people anticipate the conditions that enable them to manipulate their beliefs when confronted with unpleasant information? We investigate whether individuals seek out the “cognitive flexibility” needed to distort beliefs in self-serving ways, or instead attempt to constrain it, committing to unbiased judgment. Experiments with 6500 participants, including financial and legal professionals, show that preferences are heterogeneous: over 40% of advisors prefer flexibility, even if costly. Actively seeking flexibility does not preclude belief distortion. Individuals anticipate the effects of cognitive flexibility and their choice to pursue it responds to incentives, suggesting some sophistication about the cognitive constraints to belief distortion.
Keywords: belief distortion; morality; sophistication; commitment; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-neu and nep-ore
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8529
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Klaus Wohlrabe ().