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  Motivated Reasoning, Information Avoidance, and Default Bias

Momsen, K., & Schneider, S. O. (2022). Motivated Reasoning, Information Avoidance, and Default Bias.

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 Creators:
Momsen, Katharina, Author
Schneider, Sebastian O.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society, ou_2173688              

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Free keywords: Motivated reasoning, information avoidance, defaults, status quo, charitable giving, experiment
 JEL: C90 - General
 JEL: D64 - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
 JEL: D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
 JEL: D91 - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
 Abstract: We investigate whether the presence of a default interacts with the willingness of decision-makers to gather, process and consider information. In an online experiment, where about 2,300 participants choose between two compiled charity donation options worth $100, we vary the availability of information and the presence of a default. Information avoidance, when possible, increases default effects considerably, manifesting a hitherto undocumented channel of the default bias. Moreover, we show that defaults trigger motivated reasoning: In the presence of a default – even if self-selected–, participants consider new information to a lower degree than without a preselected option.

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 Dates: 2022-04-06
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: Bonn : Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Discussion Paper 2022/3
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: Other: 2022/3
 Degree: -

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