ShookRun.com

With Knowledge comes Opportunity
With Opportunity comes Success

Technical Analysis Portal Financial Analysis Value Investing Behavioral Finance Portal
>Home Page >Behavioral Finance >Curse of Knowledge:
The Curse of Knowledge in Economic Settings: An Experimental Analysis, Camerer, Loewenstein, and Weber, 1989
"In economic analyses of asymmetric information, better-informed agents are assumed capable of reproducing the judgments of less-informed agents. The authors discuss a systematic violation of this assumption that they call the "curse of knowledge." Better-informed agents are unable to ignore private information even when it is in their interest to do so; more information is not always better".
Coming Clean and Playing Dirtier: The Shortcomings of Disclosure as a Solution to Conflicts of Interest, Cain, Loewenstein, and Moore
The "curse of knowledge" (Camerer, Loewenstein, & M. Weber, 1989; Keysar, Ginzel, & Bazerman, 1995) describes the inability to disregard unhelpful information. In their study, Loewenstein, Moore, and R. Weber (2003) gave participants a puzzle to solve and asked them to predict how long it would take others to solve the puzzle. Participants got paid more when they accurately predicted how long others would take. Some participants were given additional information: the solution to the puzzle. Those with the solution predicted that others would solve the puzzles significantly more quickly than they actually did, and therefore earned less money than did predictors who were not told the solution. Nevertheless, because people are unaware of the curse of knowledge, they were willing to pay to acquire knowledge that harmed them, and expected informed predictors to perform better (Loewenstein, Moore, & R. Weber, 2003). Conflicts of interest can lead experts to give biased advice. Although disclosure of advisors' conflict of interest has been a popular response to this problem, we present evidence suggesting that disclosure cannot be assumed to protect the audience from biased advice. Disclosure fails both (1) because while it may encourage the audience to discount the advice, such discounting tends to be insufficient, and (2) because disclosure leads advisors to give even more biased advice than they do otherwise. The end result is that the audience is not likely to be left better off for knowing about the advisor's conflict of interest. Successful responses to conflicts of interest will require more robust interventions than merely disclosing them".
From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens, Thaler, 2000
"Once we know something, we can’t imagine ever thinking otherwise. This makes it hard for us to realize that what we know may be less than obvious to others who are less informed. The curse of knowledge will lead me to think that others will have read the same articles I have, and have learned the same lessons from them (lessons I now take for granted), when in fact others have been busy reading entirely different material, and have never even heard of the findings that have so influenced my thinking".

Paying $1 to lose $2: Misperceptions of the value of information in predicting the performance of others, Loewenstein, Moore, and Weber, 2003
"Traditional economic and decision-making models allow for "free disposal" of information, meaning that more information will never make a decision maker worse off. This implies that those faced with making decisions should always place non-negative value on information. Building on previous research on the "curse of knowledge", we explore situations where this might not be so. In two experiments, we document situations in which participants place positive value on information, even when acquiring that information hurts their performance and earnings. In the first experiment, a significant number of participants pay for information - the solution to a puzzle - that hurts their ability to predict how many others will solve the puzzle. In the second experiment, a majority of participants choose to "hire" informed - rather than uninformed - agents, leading to lower earnings. We discuss implications of our results for the role of information and informed decision makers in economic situations".