Cognitive Dissonance as a Means of Reducing Hypothetical Bias
AbstractHypothetical bias is a persistent problem in stated preference studies. We propose and test a method for reducing hypothetical bias based on the cognitive dissonance literature in social psychology. A central element of this literature is that people prefer not to take inconsistent stands and will change their attitudes and behavior to make them consistent. We find that participants in a stated preference willingness-to-pay study, when told that a nonhypothetical study of similar goods would follow, state significantly lower willingness to pay than participants not so informed. In other words, participants adjust their stated willingness to pay to avoid cognitive dissonance from taking inconsistent stands on their willingness to pay for the good being offered.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 09-wp486.
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
apples; cognitive consistency; hypothetical bias; instrument calibration; willingness to pay.;
Other versions of this item:
- Frode Alfnes & Chengyan Yue & Helen H. Jensen, 2010. "Cognitive dissonance as a means of reducing hypothetical bias," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 37(2), pages 147-163, June.
- Alfnes, Frode & Yue, Chengyan & Jensen, Helen H., 2010. "Cognitive Dissonance As a Means of Reducing Hypothetical Bias," Staff General Research Papers 31300, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
- Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
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