CBSSM Seminar: Anticipatory Emotions and Information Demand

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm


NCRC, Building 16, Room 266C


Economists have argued that people should value information only to the extent that it can impact their actions, i.e. its instrumentality. However, people may derive utility from their beliefs, and therefore may also value information to the extent that it shapes their beliefs. As a result, people may have a desire for or a dislike of certain types of information beyond its instrumental value, which may have a detrimental effect on their actions. For example, people may want to delay learning about their health, even when such information would be useful. We provide an experimental study to characterize information preferences driven by belief utility in the context of lotteries. We discuss our findings' implications for health information design.