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Strategic Ignorance and Perceived Control

Balietti, Anca ; Budjan, Angelika ; Eymess, Tillmann ; Soldà, Alice

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Information can trigger unpleasant emotions. As a result, individuals might be tempted to strategically ignore it. We experimentally investigate whether increasing perceived control can mitigate strategic ignorance. Participants from India were presented with a choice to receive information about the health risk associated with air pollution and were later asked to recall it. Perceived control leads to a substantial improvement in information recall. We find that optimists react most to perceived control, both with a reduction in information avoidance and an increase in information recall. This latter result is supported by a US sample. A theoretical framework rationalizes our findings.

Document type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0735
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Edition: Zweite Auflage
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2023 13:39
Date: September 2023
Number of Pages: 102
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
DDC-classification: 330 Economics
Controlled Keywords: Luftverschmutzung
Uncontrolled Keywords: information avoidance; information recall; perceived control; motivated cognition; air pollution
Series: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics

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