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Strategic self-ignorance

Thunström, Linda; Nordström, Jonas LU ; Shogren, Jason F.; Ehmke, Mariah and van't Veld, Klaas (2016) In Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 52(2). p.117-136
Abstract (Swedish)
We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to
over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58%) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We... (More)
We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to
over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58%) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also find evidence consistent with our model on the determinants of strategic self-ignorance. (Less)
Abstract
We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58%) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also... (More)
We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58%) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also find evidence consistent with our model on the determinants of strategic self-ignorance. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Strategic ignorance, Calorie information avoidance, Guilt aversion, Selfcontrol, Strategic ignorance , Calorie information avoidance, Guilt aversion , Self-control, D03 , D81 , D83
in
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
volume
52
issue
2
pages
20 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84976254399
  • wos:000378357600002
ISSN
1573-0476
DOI
10.1007/s11166-016-9236-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f13f856c-02d9-4662-8186-d5c50244febe
date added to LUP
2016-06-23 09:52:45
date last changed
2017-11-05 05:04:43
@article{f13f856c-02d9-4662-8186-d5c50244febe,
  abstract     = {We examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58%) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also find evidence consistent with our model on the determinants of strategic self-ignorance.},
  author       = {Thunström, Linda and Nordström, Jonas and Shogren, Jason F. and Ehmke, Mariah and van't Veld, Klaas},
  issn         = {1573-0476},
  keyword      = {Strategic ignorance,Calorie information avoidance,Guilt aversion,Selfcontrol,Strategic ignorance ,Calorie information avoidance,Guilt aversion ,Self-control,D03 ,D81 ,D83},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {117--136},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Journal of Risk and Uncertainty},
  title        = {Strategic self-ignorance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11166-016-9236-9},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2016},
}