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Emotional Decision-Makers and Anomalous Attitudes towards Information

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  • F. Barigozzi
  • R. Levaggi

Abstract

We use a simple version of the Psychological Expected Utility Model (Caplin and Leahy, QJE, 2001) to analyze the optimal choice of information accuracy by an individual who is concerned with anticipatory feeling. The individual faces the following trade-off: on the one hand information may lead to emotional costs, on the other the higher the information accuracy, the higher the efficiency of decision-making. We completely and explicitly characterize how anticipatory utility depends on information accuracy, and study the optimal amount of information acquisition. We obtain simple and explicit conditions under which the individual prefers no-information or partial information gathering. We show that anomalous attitudes towards information can be more articulated than previously thought.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 656.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:656

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  1. Botond Kdszegi, 2006. "Emotional Agency," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 121-155, 02.
  2. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Can anticipatory feelings explain anomalous choices of information sources?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 87-104, July.
  3. Caplin, Andrew & Eliaz, Kfir, 2003. " AIDS Policy and Psychology: A Mechanism-Design Approach," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(4), pages 631-46, Winter.
  4. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The supply of information by a concerned expert," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 487-505, 07.
  5. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1991. "All-or-nothing information control," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 111-113, October.
  6. Niklas Karlsson & George Loewenstein & Duane Seppi, 2009. "The ostrich effect: Selective attention to information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 95-115, April.
  7. Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Health anxiety and patient behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1073-1084, November.
  8. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  9. Barigozzi, Francesca & Levaggi, Rosella, 2008. "Emotions in physician agency," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-14, October.
  10. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory And Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79, February.
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