ProjectContingent Belief Updating Study IDsspp-2023-0007-v1 Study Title
Contingent Belief Updating AuthorsChiara Aina, Andrea Amelio, Katharina Brütt Completion Time5 Minutes Close DateMarch 17, 2023 DisciplineEconomics FieldBehavioral Economics CountryUnited States, United Kingdom, Online (limited countries) Abstract We study the effect of contingent thinking on belief updating. One possible explanation for biased beliefs is that agents distort the underlying data generating process when updating their beliefs given a new piece of information. Engaging in contingent thinking — that is, reasoning through all possible contingencies without knowing which is realized — might affect the agents’ understanding of the data generating process, resulting in differences in belief updating. Through a series of online experiments, we aim to uncover and break down the effect of contingent thinking on belief distortions into two components: (1) hypothetical thinking (updating on a piece of not-yet-observed information) and (2) contrast reasoning (comparing multiple contingencies during the updating task).