Motivated Errors

82 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017 Last revised: 17 Jun 2022

See all articles by Christine Exley

Christine Exley

Harvard Business School

Judd B. Kessler

University of Pennsylvania - Business & Public Policy Department

Date Written: March 18, 2022

Abstract

In three sets of experiments involving 5,432 subjects, we show that agents make more errors when doing so allows them to justify selfish behavior. We show that errors relating to addition arise when they can help to justify selfishness but are eliminated when selfish motives are removed. In addition, we show that selfish motives can either exacerbate or mitigate errors relating to correlation neglect and anchoring. Our results are consistent with individuals acting confused as a justification for selfish behavior.

Suggested Citation

Exley, Christine and Kessler, Judd B., Motivated Errors (March 18, 2022). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 18-017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029231 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3029231

Christine Exley (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Judd B. Kessler

University of Pennsylvania - Business & Public Policy Department ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6372
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://bepp.wharton.upenn.edu/profile/1671/

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