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Emotional Decision-Makers and Anomalous Attitudes towards Information

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  • Francesca Barigozzi

    ()

  • Rosella Levaggi

    ()

Abstract

We use a simple version of the Psychological Expected Utility Model (Caplin and Leahy, QJE, 2001) to analyze the optimal choice of information accuracy by an individual who is concerned with anticipatory feeling. The individual faces the following trade-off: on the one hand information may lead to emotional costs, on the other the higher the information accuracy, the higher the efficiency of decision-making. We completely and explicitly characterize how anticipatory utility depends on information accuracy, and study the optimal amount of information acquisition. We obtain simple and explicit conditions under which the individual prefers no-information or partial information gathering. We show that anomalous attitudes towards information can be more articulated than previously thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Barigozzi & Rosella Levaggi, 2008. "Emotional Decision-Makers and Anomalous Attitudes towards Information," CHILD Working Papers wp02_09, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp02_09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1991. "All-or-nothing information control," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 111-113, October.
    2. Botond Kőszegi, 2006. "Emotional Agency," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 121-155.
    3. Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Health anxiety and patient behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1073-1084, November.
    4. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The supply of information by a concerned expert," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 487-505, July.
    5. Barigozzi, Francesca & Levaggi, Rosella, 2008. "Emotions in physician agency," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-14, October.
    6. Caplin, Andrew & Eliaz, Kfir, 2003. " AIDS Policy and Psychology: A Mechanism-Design Approach," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(4), pages 631-646, Winter.
    7. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
    8. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Can anticipatory feelings explain anomalous choices of information sources?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 87-104, July.
    9. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
    10. Niklas Karlsson & George Loewenstein & Duane Seppi, 2009. "The ostrich effect: Selective attention to information," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 95-115, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Linda Thunström & Jonas Nordström & Jason F. Shogren & Mariah Ehmke & Klaas Veld, 2016. "Strategic self-ignorance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 117-136, April.
    2. David Bardey & Philippe De Donder & Cesar Mantilla, 2014. "Adverse Selection vs Discrimination Risk with Genetic Testing. An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 5080, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Bardey, David & De Donder, Philippe & Mantilla, Cesar, 2017. "How Is the Trade-off between Adverse Selection and Discrimination Risk Affected by Genetic Testing? : Theory and Experiment," TSE Working Papers 17-777, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Johannes Maier & Clemens König, 2016. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Belief Updating," CESifo Working Paper Series 6156, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Fels, Markus, 2015. "On the value of information: Why people reject medical tests," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-12.
    6. Ranjan Ram, 2011. "Self Insurance and Insurance Demand under Self-Deception," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-27, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Psychological expected utility; Information gathering; Bayesian updating;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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