The Dynamics of Motivated Beliefs
AbstractA key question in the literature on motivated reasoning and self-deception is how motivated beliefs are sustained in the presence of feedback. In this paper, we explore dynamic motivated belief patterns after feedback. We establish that positive feedback has a persistent effect on beliefs. Negative feedback, instead, influences beliefs in the short run, but this effect fades over time. We investigate the mechanisms of this dynamic pattern, and provide evidence for an asymmetry in the recall of feedback. Finally, we establish that, in line with theoretical accounts, incentives for belief accuracy mitigate the role of motivated reasoning.
CitationZimmermann, Florian. 2020. "The Dynamics of Motivated Beliefs." American Economic Review, 110 (2): 337-61. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180728
- C91 Design of Experiments: Laboratory, Individual
- D83 Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
- D91 Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making