Avoidance of certain pieces of information, i.e. ignoring the consequences of one's choices for the well-being of others, has been shown to enhance selfishness. We argue that preferences for uncertainty or deliberate ignorance can also be employed by those seeking to behave pro-socially. We use a dictator game with hidden pay-offs for the dictators and allow participants to reveal their own pay-offs without a cost before making their allocation choice. We observe that a non-trivial fraction of participants do not reveal their pay-offs and choose the allocation that benefits others.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by Israel Science Foundationgrants 1608/15 and 1821/12. We thank Tobias Regner and the participants of the meeting of German Association for Experimental Economics in Giessen for their valuable comments. We also thank Gabrielle Small for her editorial help.
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.
- Deliberate ignorance
- Moral wiggle room
- Pro-social behavior