Tiered Consent and the Tyranny of Choice
32 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2008 Last revised: 25 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2008
Evidence in consumer psychology suggests that abundant choice causes decision makers to experience information overload, make arbitrary choices, refrain from choosing altogether, and experience regret following decision making. These patterns result in systematically lower quality decision making. The potential limitations of expanded choice are directly relevant to informed consent to human tissue research, where tiered consent is a best practice. Tiered consent presents potential tissue providers with a menu of research categories to which they may consent. Applying the results of research in consumer psychology to models for tiered consent, this Article describes how best to achieve the ethical paradigm of informed consent in view of the limitations of human mental processing.
Keywords: health law, behavioral economics, decision-making psychology, informed consent, human tissue research, human subjects research, biomedical research, bioethics
JEL Classification: D11, I1, K30, K32
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