We study processing and acquisition of objective information regarding qualities that people care about, intelligence and beauty. Subjects receiving negative feedback did not respect the strength of these signals, were far less predictable in their updating behavior and exhibited an aversion to new information. In response to good news, inference conformed more closely to Bayes' Rule, both in accuracy and precision. Signal direction did not affect updating or acquisition in our neutral control. Unlike past work, our design varied direction and agreement with priors independently. The results indicate that
confirmation bias is driven by direction; confirmation alone had no
effect. (JEL D82, D83)
Eil, David, and Justin M. Rao.
"The Good News-Bad News Effect: Asymmetric Processing of Objective Information about Yourself."
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
Asymmetric and Private Information
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief