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

8 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

Funding 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.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


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


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