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Motivated Skepticism

Microeconomics Seminar

Add to calendar 2023-01-31 14:00 2023-01-31 15:15 Europe/Rome Motivated Skepticism Seminar Room 3rd Floor Villa La Fonte YYYY-MM-DD


31 January 2023

14:00 - 15:15 CET


Seminar Room 3rd Floor

Villa La Fonte

In this seminar, Jeanne Hagenbach (Science Po), will present her paper "Motivated Skepticism".

We experimentally study how individuals read strategically-transmitted information when they have preferences over what they will learn. Subjects play disclosure games in which Receivers should interpret messages skeptically. We vary whether the state that Senders communicate about is ego-relevant or neutral for Receivers, and whether skeptical beliefs are aligned or not with what Receivers prefer believing. Compared to neutral settings, skepticism is significantly lower when it is self-threatening, and not enhanced when it is self-serving. These results shed light on a new channel that individuals can use to protect their beliefs in communication situations: they exercise skepticism in a motivated way, that is, in a way that depends on the desirability of the conclusions that skeptical inferences lead to.

Co-author: Charlotte Saucet, University Paris 1


Prof. Jeanne Hagenbach (Ecole Polytechnique)

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