IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cra/wpaper/2005-01.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

?Just Forget It?: Memory Distortion as Bounded Rationality

Author

Listed:
  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

Distortions in memory impose important bounds on rationality but have been largely disregarded in economics. While it is possible to learn, it is more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to unlearn. This retention effect lowers individual utility directly or via reduced productivity, and adds costs to principal-agent relationships. The imprinting effect states that the more one tries to forget a piece of information the more vivid it stays in memory, leading to a paradoxical outcome. The effects are based on, and are supported by, psychological experiments, and it is shown that they are relevant in many economic situations and beyond.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "?Just Forget It?: Memory Distortion as Bounded Rationality," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2005-01
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.crema-research.ch/papers/2005-01.pdf
    File Function: Full Text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.crema-research.ch/abstracts/2005-01.htm
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & J�rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, "undated". "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," IEW - Working Papers 141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Hens, Thorsten & Mayer, Janós & Pilgrim, Beate, 2004. "Existence of Sunspot Equilibria and Uniqueness of Spot Market Equilibria: The Case of Intrinsically Complete Markets," Discussion Papers 2004/15, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    3. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
    4. Christian Ewerhart & Philipp Wichardt, "undated". "Signaling, Globality, and the Intuitive Criterion," IEW - Working Papers 189, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Fehr, Ernst & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2007. "Money illusion and coordination failure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 246-268, February.
    6. De Giorgi, Enrico, 2008. "Evolutionary portfolio selection with liquidity shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1088-1119, April.
    7. Foellmi, Reto & Oechslin, Manuel, 2007. "Who gains from non-collusive corruption?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 95-119, January.
    8. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau & Shouyong Shi, 2007. "Friedman Meets Hosios: Efficiency in Search Models of Money," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 174-195, January.
    9. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 2004. "Fairness and Incentives in a Multi-task Principal-Agent Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 453-474, October.
    10. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, "undated". "The Role of Equality, Efficiency, and Rawlsian Motives in Social Preferences: A Reply to Engelmann and Strobel," IEW - Working Papers 179, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher & Simon G�chter, "undated". "Living in Two Neighborhoods - Social Interactions in the Lab," IEW - Working Papers 150, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    12. Hens, Thorsten & Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner, 2006. "Markets do not select for a liquidity preference as behavior towards risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 279-292, February.
    13. Aleksander Berentsen & Yvan Lengwiler, 2004. "Fraudulent Accounting and Other Doping Games," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 402-402, September.
    14. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & Christopher Waller, 2004. "The distribution of money and prices in an equilibrium with lotteries," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(4), pages 887-906, November.
    15. Berentsen Aleksander & Rocheteau Guillaume, 2003. "On the Friedman Rule in Search Models with Divisible Money," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, December.
    16. Fehr, Ernst & Henrich, Joseph, 2003. "Is Strong Reciprocity a Maladaptation? On the Evolutionary Foundations of Human Altruism," IZA Discussion Papers 712, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Bruno S. Frey & Margit Osterloh, "undated". "Yes, Managers Should be Paid Like Bureaucrats," IEW - Working Papers 187, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    18. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    19. Matthias Benz & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 362-383, May.
    20. Aleksander Berentsen & Esther Bruegger & Simon Loertscher, "undated". "Heterogeneity, Local Information, and Global Interaction," IEW - Working Papers 182, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    21. Haim Levy & Enrico De Giorgi & Thorsten Hens, "undated". "Two Paradigms and Nobel Prizes in Economics: A Contradiction or Coexistence?," IEW - Working Papers 161, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    22. Haim Levy & Enrico De Giorgi & Thorsten Hens, "undated". "Prospect Theory and the CAPM: A contradiction or coexistence?," IEW - Working Papers 157, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D., 2016. "A neuroeconomic theory of memory retrieval," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 198-205.
    2. Yilmaz Kocer, 2010. "Endogenous Learning with Bounded Memory," Working Papers 1290, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Econometric Research Program..
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2007. "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing The Costs Of Terrorism," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-24, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Memory; bounded rationality; learning; retention; ironic process theory; principalagency theory;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General

    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:cra:wpaper:2005-01. 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: (Anna-Lea Werlen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cremach.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.