Work in Progress

Information Avoidance in Reciprocal Decisions

In this paper, I document findings that show people may choose to avoid information about the consequences of a decision when it can signal an undesired characteristics like being selfish or betraying someone’s trust. There is a clear pattern of behavior when avoiding information: people who make selfish decisions are more likely to avoid information. This behavior is observed even when the decision is already made and the information cannot change the outcome, particularly when information can show that the decision caused a loss for someone else. This paper contributes to the behavioral and experimental research on information preferences and moral decisions by documenting that decisions may not only be motivated by the desire for certain outcomes but also desire to be regarded as a good person by oneself.

Strategic Curiosity : Information and Dishonesty - joint with Katrine Berg Nødvedt and Joel Berge

This study provides experimental evidence on a novel phenomenon in information preferences: people strategically collect additional non-instrumental information to justify morally questionable decisions. We conduct a virtual dice-rolling experiment in which we vary the extent to which participants can collect additional information before reporting as well as the content of information. We document a tendency to systematically collect more information -be more curious- when tempted to misreport. Curiosity is positively correlated with the size of the lie. Interestingly, neither curiosity nor dishonesty responds to the content of the information as people roll the dice and misreport to the same extent even when information is irrelevant to the decision. Our study provides new insights into how individuals actively shape their information environment in pursuit of self-interest. You can try our game!

Reasoning Avoidance - joint with Hallgeir Sjåstad and Steven Sloman

This research project aims to investigate individuals’ behavior when they are asked to explain a spurious relationship between the main event and a side effect that can potentially challenge existing beliefs on the main event in an experimental setup. The main contribution of the present research is showing how causal relations can be misconceived by individuals when they challenge the beliefs and preferences about the policy in the main event.

National identity Predicts Public Health Support During a Global Pandemic - joint with Jay van Bavel and others

The goal of this collaboration is to bring together scholars from around the globe to examine psychological factors underlying the attitudes and behavioral intentions related to Covid-19. To date, data from over 44.000 citizens in 67 countries are collected. Working Paper and Project Website

Self-Image Considerations in the Provision of Helpful Feedback - joint with Stefan Meißner