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The Blissful Ignorance Effect: Pre- versus Post-action Effects on Outcome Expectancies Arising from Precise and Vague Information


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  • Himanshu Mishra
  • Baba Shiv
  • Dhananjay Nayakankuppam


This article examines the effects on outcome expectancies of precise versus vague information across two contexts: prior to an action taken by the consumer (pre-action) and after the action is taken (post-action). Across three experiments, we show that with vague information individuals are more optimistic of outcomes post-action compared to pre-action; this difference is attenuated with precise information. We term this inconsistency the blissful ignorance effect and show that it arises due to the interplay of two goals in decision making, the goal to arrive at a desired conclusion (directional goal) and the goal to be accurate (accuracy goal) about one's outcome expectancies. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (07)
Pages: 573-585

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:35:y:2008:i:4:p:573-585

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Cited by:
  1. Mishra, Himanshu & Mishra, Arul & Rixom, Jessica & Chatterjee, Promothesh, 2013. "Influence of motivated reasoning on saving and spending decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 13-23.


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