TSE Working Paper No. 16-694
85 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 10 Feb 2020
Date Written: September 21, 2019
Preference falsification, the act of misrepresenting one’s beliefs under social pressure, is widespread but not ubiquitous. We show that when individuals perceive a concave cost of deviating from their principles, ideological extremists are more likely to falsify preferences. Being in ideological minority, they cave-in on decisions they disagree with ideologically because once they deviate slightly, further deviations entail relatively little additional cost. To this result—ideological perfectionism—which is supported by recent lab experiments, we add the first evidence in a high-stakes field setting regarding which individuals, on an ideological scale, conform under social pressure and which stand their ground.
Keywords: Judicial Decision Making, Group Decision Making, Ideology, Peer Pressure
JEL Classification: D7, K0, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation