Blinding curiosity: Exploring preferences for “blinding” one's own judgment

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We perform the first tests of individual-level preferences for “blinding” in decision making: purposefully restricting the information one sees in order to form a more objective evaluation. For example, when grading her students’ papers, a professor might choose to “blind” herself to students’ names by anonymizing them, thus evaluating the papers on content alone. We predict that curiosity will shape blinding preferences, motivating people to seek out (vs. be blind to) irrelevant, potentially biasing information about a target of evaluation. We further predict that decision frames that reduce or satisfy curiosity about potentially biasing information will encourage choices to be blind to that information. We find support for these hypotheses across seven studies (N = 4,356) and multiple replications (N = 9,570), demonstrating consequences for bias and accuracy across a variety of evaluation contexts. We discuss implications for research on mental contamination as well as the “dark side” of curiosity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fath, S; Larrick, RP; Soll, JB

Published Date

  • May 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 170 /

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2022.104135

Citation Source

  • Scopus