Deliberate Ignorance

We may not always be aware of it, but we all practice deliberate ignorance. In other words, we consciously choose not to seek or use information. This is as true for individuals as it is, for example, for organizations, welfare economics, and law. But where exactly does deliberate ignorance play a role? And when is it a blessing, when a curse? In our feature, we present examples and consider possible implications.

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We live in a knowledge society in which science and education is of particular importance. Knowledge is also considered a key driver for economic growth. But under certain circumstances, we all benefit from deliberate ignorance. Ralph Hertwig, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and Christoph Engel, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, explain why deliberately foregoing information in certain areas should even be prescribed and taught. more

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