Delaying information search

Yaniv Shani, Niels van de Ven, Marcel Zeelenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In three studies, we examined factors that may temporarily attenuate information search. People are generally curious and dislike uncertainty, which typically encourages them to look for relevant information. Despite these strong forces that promote information search, people sometimes deliberately delay obtaining valuable information. We find they may do so when they are concerned that the information might interfere with future pleasurable activities. Interestingly, the decision to search or to postpone searching for information is influenced not only by the value and importance of the information itself but also by well-being maintenance goals related to possible detrimental effects that negative knowledge may have on unrelated future plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-760
Number of pages11
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Affect regulation
  • Curiosity
  • Information avoidance
  • Uncertainty aversion
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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