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Learning to hesitate

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  • Descamps, Ambroise
  • Massoni, Sébastien
  • Page, Lionel

Abstract

We investigate how people make choices when they are unsure about the value of the options they face and have to decide whether to choose now or wait and acquire more information first. In an experiment, we find that participants deviate from optimal information acquisition in a systematic manner. They acquire too much information (when they should only collect little) or not enough (when they should collect a lot). We show that this pattern can be explained as naturally emerging from Fechner cognitive errors. Over time participants tend to learn to approximate the optimal strategy when information is relatively costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Descamps, Ambroise & Massoni, Sébastien & Page, Lionel, 2021. "Learning to hesitate," SocArXiv 6fa5q, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:6fa5q
    DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/6fa5q
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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