In error

Kevin Lewis

August 20, 2017

Information Processing and Commitment
Armin Falk & Florian Zimmermann
Economic Journal, forthcoming

Beliefs are often found to be sticky and rather immune to new information. In this paper we highlight a specific mechanism that raises resistance to incorporate new information. We provide causal evidence that commitment to a first opinion leads to a neglect of new and challenging information. Being asked to write down an initial estimate before additional information is obtained significantly and substantially reduces the accuracy of final beliefs. Investigating the sources of this effect, we show that our findings are well explained by an internal desire to act consistently.

Examining Regulatory Capture: Evidence from the NHL
Gregory DeAngelo, Adam Nowak & Imke Reimers
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Regulatory capture has garnered significant attention, but poses a difficult empirical exercise since most relationships between regulators and regulated parties occur behind closed doors. In this research, we overcome this problem by analyzing an environment where the behavior of both the regulator and regulated parties are publicly available. Specifically, we utilize data from the National Hockey League (NHL) to examine the impact of general experience as a referee as well as experience refereeing a particular team on the assignation of penalties. We find that gaining general experience as a referee significantly reduces the number of penalties that a referee assigns. However, as a referee gains experience refereeing a specific team, they significantly reduce the number of penalties assessed to this team relative to teams that they have less experience refereeing, confirming that regulatory capture is observed among referees and teams in the NHL.

"I Want to Know the Answer! Give Me Fish 'n' Chips!": The Impact of Curiosity on Indulgent Choice
Chen Wang & Yanliu Huang
Journal of Consumer Research, forthcoming

This research examines how incidentally induced consumer curiosity influences subsequent indulgent decisions. Prior research has primarily focused on the effect of curiosity on information seeking in the present domain. The current research goes further to propose that the curiosity effect can spill over to prompt consumers to prefer indulgent options in other, unrelated domains (e.g., food, money). This situation is likely to occur because curiosity motivates individuals to seek the missing information as the specific information reward in the current domain. Such desire to obtain the information reward primes a reward-seeking goal, which in turn leads to increased preferences for indulgent options in subsequent, unrelated domains. Furthermore, the impact of curiosity on indulgent options possesses goal-priming properties as identified by the literature. That is, the effect should (1) persist after a time delay and (2) diminish when the reward-seeking goal is satiated by obtaining a reward before the indulgent task. We conduct a series of studies to provide support for our hypotheses. This research contributes to both curiosity and indulgence decision literature and offers important practical implications.

Order effects in the results of song contests: Evidence from the Eurovision and the New Wave
Evgeny Antipov & Elena Pokryshevskaya
Judgment and Decision Making, July 2017, Pages 415-419

The results of song contests offer a unique opportunity to analyze possible distortions arising from various biases in performance evaluations using observational data. In this study we investigate the influence of contestants' order of appearance on their ranking. We found that, in the New Wave Song Contest, expert judgments were significantly influenced by the contestant's running number, an exogenous factor that, being assigned randomly, clearly did not influence the output quality. We also found weaker statistical evidence of such an ordering effect in Eurovision Song Contest finals of 2009-2012.

Is There a Dark Side to Mindfulness? Relation of Mindfulness to Criminogenic Cognitions
June Tangney et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

In recent years, mindfulness-based interventions have been modified for use with inmate populations, but how this might relate to specific criminogenic cognitions has not been examined empirically. Theoretically, characteristics of mindfulness should be incompatible with distorted patterns of criminal thinking, but is this in fact the case? Among both 259 male jail inmates and 516 undergraduates, mindfulness was inversely related to the Criminogenic Cognitions Scale (CCS) through a latent variable of emotion regulation. However, in the jail sample, this mediational model also showed a direct, positive path from mindfulness to CCS, with an analogous, but nonsignificant trend in the college sample. Post hoc analyses indicate that the Nonjudgment of Self scale derived from the Mindfulness Inventory: Nine Dimensions (MI:ND) largely accounts for this apparently iatrogenic effect in both samples. Some degree of self-judgment is perhaps necessary and useful, especially among individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

Can People Judge the Veracity of Their Intuitions?
Stefan Leach & Mario Weick
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

People differ in the belief that their intuitions produce good decision outcomes. In the present research, we sought to test the validity of these beliefs by comparing individuals' self-reports with measures of actual intuition performance in a standard implicit learning task, exposing participants to seemingly random letter strings (Studies 1a-b) and social media profile pictures (Study 2) that conformed to an underlying rule or grammar. A meta-analysis synthesising the present data (n = 400) and secondary data by Pretz, Totz, and Kaufman (2010) found that people's enduring beliefs in their intuitions were not reflective of actual performance in the implicit learning task. Meanwhile, task-specific confidence in intuition bore no sizable relation with implicit learning performance, but the observed data favoured neither the Null hypothesis nor the Alternative hypothesis. Together, the present findings suggest that people's ability to judge the veracity of their intuitions may be limited.

Psychological Distance Promotes Transcending of Local Maxima
Daniel Yudkin et al.
NYU Working Paper, April 2017

Decision-makers are often confronted with the dilemma of whether to exploit a known resource or to venture out in search of potentially more profitable options. Here, we investigate the role of psychological distancing strategies in such exploration behavior. We argue that exploration dilemmas pit the value of a reward (desirability) against the difficulty or uncertainty of obtaining that reward (feasibility), and based on construal level theory we expect that psychological distancing will lead people to prioritize desirability over feasibility and thus increase exploration. Five experiments test and support this prediction. In Experiments 1A and 1B, we sought to confirm the notion that exploration dilemmas conform to the feasibility/desirability decision structure. In Experiment 2, participants who were prompted to consider an exploration game from a more physically distanced perspective were more likely to leave a local maximum in search of a global maximum. Experiments 3 and 4 provide convergent evidence that a more socially distanced perspective similarly results in more exploration. Overall, this research points to the effect of psychological distancing strategies in promoting exploration.

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