Information Processing and Commitment

20 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2018

See all articles by Armin Falk

Armin Falk

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Florian Zimmermann

University of Bonn

Date Written: August 2018


Beliefs are often found to be sticky and rather immune to new information. In this article, we highlight a specific mechanism that raises resistance to incorporate new information. We provide causal evidence that commitment to a first opinion leads to a neglect of new and challenging information. Being asked to write down an initial estimate before additional information is obtained significantly and substantially reduces the accuracy of final beliefs. Investigating the sources of this effect, we show that our findings are well explained by an internal desire to act consistently.

Suggested Citation

Falk, Armin and Zimmermann, Florian, Information Processing and Commitment (August 2018). The Economic Journal, Vol. 128, Issue 613, pp. 1983-2002, 2018. Available at SSRN: or

Armin Falk (Contact Author)

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Schaumburg-Lippe-Stra├če 5-9
Bonn, 53113


Florian Zimmermann

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012

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