Summary #1074

The Desire for Information: Blissful Ignorance or Painful Truth?

cmu.edu
  • Researchers examined whether people prefer to ignore information at times, even if it makes it harder for us to make a good decision.
  • The team created 11 scenarios around three domains (health, finances, and other people’s perceptions) and asked 2,000 people to share their reactions.
  • For example, in a scenario involving a routine medical exam, ~33% of respondents preferred not to learn what exactly was wrong with their body.
  • Overall, the conclusion is that people don’t really want to know everything, and that we choose which information we don’t want, whether it’s health, finances, or sth else.
  • Some information is too painful for us to learn, but in the long-term, more information generally leads to better decisions.

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