The Blissful Ignorance Effect: Pre Versus Post Action Effects on Outcome-Expectancies Arising from Precise and Vague Information

Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Himanshu Mishra

Himanshu Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Baba Shiv

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Dhananjay Nayakankuppam

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 11, 2008

Abstract

This article examines the effects on outcome-expectancies of precise versus vague information across two contexts: prior to an action taken by the consumer (pre-action) and after the action is taken (post-action). Across three experiments, we show that with vague information individuals are more optimistic of outcomes post-action compared to pre-action; this difference is attenuated with precise information. We term this inconsistency the Blissful Ignorance Effect and show that it arises due to the interplay of two goals in decision-making, the goal to arrive at a desired conclusion (directional goal) and the goal to be accurate (accuracy goal) about one's outcome-expectancies.

Keywords: Ambiguity aversion, Accuracy Goal, Outcome expectation, Optimism, post choice behavior, Product returns

JEL Classification: C91, D81, M31

Suggested Citation

Mishra, Himanshu and Shiv, Baba and Nayakankuppam, Dhananjay, The Blissful Ignorance Effect: Pre Versus Post Action Effects on Outcome-Expectancies Arising from Precise and Vague Information (July 11, 2008). Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158496

Himanshu Mishra (Contact Author)

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9304
United States

HOME PAGE: http://himanshumishra.com

Baba Shiv

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-8122 (Phone)

Dhananjay Nayakankuppam

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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