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Moral Wiggle Room Reverted: Information Avoidance is Myopic

Homayoon Moradi () and Alexander Nesterov
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Homayoon Moradi: National Research University Higher School of Economics

HSE Working papers from National Research University Higher School of Economics

Abstract: We use a range of dictator game experiments to investigate why people avoid information. Dictators in our experiment know their own payoffs and can choose whether to learn the payoffs of the recipient. We vary whether dictators can learn the recipient's payoff before or after they are presented with their self-interested action. We find that dictators are more likely to avoid information when they do not yet know their self-interested action, and consequently act more selfishly in this case. These results go against two popular explanations of information avoidance: self-image and default effects. We study and test alternative explanations such as wishful thinking, cognitive dissonance, and attention and find support for the latter.

Keywords: Attention; Wishful Thinking; Self-Image; Default Effect; In- formation Avoidance; Moral Wiggle Room (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D01 D64 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2018
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

Published in WP BRP Series: Economics / EC, April 2018, pages 1-33

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