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Does room for reflection reduce ignorance and increase pro-social behavior? An experimental study


  • Fabian Bopp

    (Paderborn University)

  • Wendelin Schnedler

    (Paderborn University)


A lot of harm comes about because people ignore the consequences of their behavior on others. Experimental evidence suggests that people might even willfully ignore consequences so that they can act selfishly without a `bad conscience'. In essence, such people `kid themselves'. If I care about the consequences of my acts on others, I should not ignore them. Upon reflection, people may discover this inconsistency. De-biasing people may thus be an effective tool to prevent harm. We examine this idea experimentally. Ee find that inviting subjects to describe their aims and means makes them more likely to inform themselves and ultimately act more pro-socially.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Bopp & Wendelin Schnedler, 2023. "Does room for reflection reduce ignorance and increase pro-social behavior? An experimental study," Working Papers Dissertations 109, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pdn:dispap:109

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    willful ignorance; strategic ignorance; social preferences; de-biasing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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