Close your eyes and be nice: Deliberate ignorance behind pro-social choices

Serhiy Kandul*, Ilana Ritov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)54-56
Number of pages3
JournalEconomics Letters
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Deliberate ignorance
  • Moral wiggle room
  • Pro-social behavior
  • Self-image


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