IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bge/wpaper/1096.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dispelling Misconceived Beliefs: Insights from Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • Jordi Brandts
  • Isabel Busom
  • Cristina Lopez-Mayan
  • Judith Panadés

Abstract

Some popular views about the workings of the economy are completely at odds with current empirical evidence and congruent theoretical explanations and therefore can be qualified as misconceptions. One consequence is that such beliefs lead to support for harmful policies. Dual process thinking and cognitive biases may contribute to explaining why misconceptions persist even when scientific information is provided to people. We conduct experiments to investigate, for the first time, whether presenting information in a refutational way affects people’s beliefs about an important socio-economic issue on which expert consensus is strong, the harmful effects of rent controls. Our refutation text induces a substantial belief change in the direction of expert knowledge, in the laboratory and in the field, although in the former the effect is estimated imprecisely. Measured against a common benchmark, the non-refutational text, the effects of the refutation text are of a similar magnitude. In addition, the persuasiveness of the refutation message varies with individual cognitive traits, and with whether team discussion among participants is allowed for.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Brandts & Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2019. "Dispelling Misconceived Beliefs: Insights from Experiments," Working Papers 1096, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1096
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/1096.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dan Andrews & Aida Caldera Sánchez & Åsa Johansson, 2011. "Housing Markets and Structural Policies in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 836, OECD Publishing.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 643-669, September.
    3. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2018. "The wild bootstrap for few (treated) clusters," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 21(2), pages 114-135, June.
    4. Christian A. L. Hilber & Wouter Vermeulen, 2016. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 358-405, March.
    5. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2014. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 5-44, March.
    6. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    7. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    8. Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2017. "Students' persistent preconceptions and learning economic principles," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 74-92, April.
    9. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Kujal, Praveen & Lenkei, Balint, 2019. "Cognitive reflection test: Whom, how, when," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    10. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
    11. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Susanne Neckermann & Sally Sadoff, 2016. "The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 183-219, November.
    12. Philip Babcock & Kelly Bedard & Gary Charness & John Hartman & Heather Royer, 2015. "Letting Down The Team? Social Effects Of Team Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(5), pages 841-870, October.
    13. Alberto Abadie & Susan Athey & Guido Imbens & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2017. "When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?," Papers 1710.02926, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2017.
    14. Howard S. Bloom, 1984. "Accounting for No-Shows in Experimental Evaluation Designs," Evaluation Review, , vol. 8(2), pages 225-246, April.
    15. Kahan, Dan M. & Peters, Ellen & Dawson, Erica Cantrell & Slovic, Paul, 2017. "Motivated numeracy and enlightened self-government," Behavioural Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 54-86, May.
    16. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2018. "Time varying risk aversion," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(3), pages 403-421.
    17. Ana Rute Cardoso & Annalisa Loviglio & Lavinia Piemontese, 2016. "Misperceptions of unemployment and individual labor market outcomes," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, December.
    18. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Wild Bootstrap Randomization Inference for Few Treated Clusters," Advances in Econometrics, in: Kim P. Huynh & David T. Jacho-chávez & Gautam Tripathi (ed.),The Econometrics of Complex Survey Data, volume 39, pages 61-85, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    19. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 285-325, June.
    20. Joseph Gyourko & Albert Saiz & Anita Summers, 2008. "A New Measure of the Local Regulatory Environment for Housing Markets: The Wharton Residential Land Use Regulatory Index," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(3), pages 693-729, March.
    21. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
    22. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    23. Bruce Sacerdote, 2014. "Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Peer Effects: Two Steps Forward?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 253-272, August.
    24. John A. List, 2014. "Using Field Experiments to Change the Template of How We Teach Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 81-89, June.
    25. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Economic Experts versus Average Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 636-642, May.
    27. Keela S. Thomson & Daniel M. Oppenheimer, 2016. "Investigating an alternate form of the cognitive reflection test," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(1), pages 99-113, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    misconceptions; biases; rent control; economic communication; persuasion;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1096. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bargses.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.