I don't Want to Hear About it: Rational Ignorance among Duty-Oriented Consumers

Karine Nyborg

Memo 15/2008

Last ned memo

Individuals with a preference for keeping moral obligations may dislike
learning that voluntary contributions are socially valuable: Such informa-
tion can trigger unpleasant feelings of cognitive dissonance. I show that if
initial beliefs about the social value of contributions are su¢ ciently low,
duty-oriented consumers are willing to pay to avoid information. Attitude
campaigns can increase contributions from such consumers by providing
them with unwanted information. Consequentialist warm glow types with
low initial beliefs, however, will seek low-cost information on their own ini-
tiative; thus, campaigns will have less e¤ects for such consumers.

Published June 20, 2014 9:55 AM - Last modified Jan. 24, 2019 11:43 AM