Cognitive Dissonance as a Means of Reducing Hypothetical Bias

Hypothetical bias is a persistent problem in stated preference studies. We propose and test a method for reducing hypothetical bias based on the cognitive dissonance literature in social psychology. A central element of this literature is that people prefer not to take inconsistent stands and will change their attitudes and behavior to make them consistent. We find that participants in a stated preference willingness-to-pay study, when told that a nonhypothetical study of similar goods would follow, state significantly lower willingness to pay than participants not so informed. In other words, participants adjust their stated willingness to pay to avoid cognitive dissonance from taking inconsistent stands on their willingness to pay for the good being offered.


Issue Date:
2009-02
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/47737
Total Pages:
40
Series Statement:
CARD Working Paper
09-WP 486




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-25

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)