The effect of deliberate ignorance and choice procedure on pro-environmental decisions

Adiel Moyal, Amos Schurr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

When people are given the opportunity to avoid unpleasant information about the possible negative consequences of their self-interested behavior on others, a significant number of people tend to avoid this information. Consequently, the choice to remain ignorant to the negative implications of one's actions has been shown to substantially reduce prosocial behavior when compared to situations in which people are aware of these consequences. Recent studies question the role of deliberate ignorance in environmental contexts. Participants did not avoid information regarding the negative consequence of their choices on a pro-environmental organization. In addition, the option to remain ignorant of this information did not affect their proenvironmental behavior. We argue that the procedure that should be followed in order to remain ignorant plays a critical role in shaping this decision. We employ a binary dictator game where the recipient is a nonprofit environmental organization, and manipulate the procedure that dictators have to follow to remain ignorant of the recipient's payment. We find a significant effect of the applied procedure on both the tendency to remain ignorant and the subsequent pro-environmental behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107512
JournalEcological Economics
Volume200
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Constructed preferences
  • Decision-making
  • Deliberate ignorance
  • Environmental charity
  • Pro-environmental behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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