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More Than You Wanted to KnowThe Failure of Mandated Disclosure$
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Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161709

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161709.001.0001

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“Whatever”: The Psychology of Mandated Disclosure

“Whatever”: The Psychology of Mandated Disclosure

(p.59) Chapter 4 “Whatever”: The Psychology of Mandated Disclosure
More Than You Wanted to Know

Omri Ben-Shahar

Carl E. Schneider

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that people are decision averse in the sense that they make decisions less willingly and less thoroughly than disclosurites expect. When researchers give their subjects the consent forms that the law mandates, they would say, “Whatever.” That whatever is the first of several obstacles in mandated disclosure's path, for the attitudes it reflects are contrary to disclosurite assumptions. The chapter begins with an “if you say so” story that highlights one of the principal reasons why mandated disclosure fails: it rests on false assumptions about how people think, act, and live. It then explains how decision aversion makes disclosurite psychology wrong and concludes by discussing the benefits of being decision averse in terms of social practice. The argument put forward in this chapter conflicts with one version of the autonomy principle—the version that sees autonomy as knowledgeably making decisions that affect you.

Keywords:   decisions, disclosurites, mandated disclosure, decision aversion, disclosurite psychology, social practice, autonomy, false assumptions

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