We Often Choose To Avoid Learning Information That Could Benefit Us

Research Digest

By Emily Reynolds

Picture the scene: you’re attending a regular medical checkup, fielding questions about your health and lifestyle, when your doctor tells you they can accurately estimate your life expectancy from your answers. Would you want to hear the truth, no matter how brutal it might be? Or would you prefer to live in ignorance?

If you belong to the latter category, you’re not alone. A new study in Management Science has found that many of us would rather avoid stressful or uncomfortable truths — even if they might benefit us.

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