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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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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

Make it Simple?

Make it Simple?

Chapter 8 (p.121) Make it Simple?
More Than You Wanted to Know

Omri Ben-Shahar

Carl E. Schneider

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that simplification helps only sporadically and feebly in terms of addressing the various criticisms leveled against mandated disclosure. For disclosurites, faites simple is almost as essential as full disclosure because it seems to respond so directly to much of the critique of disclosure. However, simplification is more complex than it appears, whether the task is simplifying language, presentation of data, or scores. Furthermore, simplification is at odds with the full disclosure principle. The chapter explains why simplification does not eliminate all the reasons disclosees skip or scan disclosures and make decisions incompletely informed. It contends that simplification can exacerbate sector literacy problems, does not offer a solution to the accumulation problem, and cannot resolve the cognitive and psychological issues involved in turning data into decisions. Finally, some simplifications substitute one complexity for another; others achieve simplicity by omitting or distorting information.

Keywords:   simplification, mandated disclosure, disclosurites, decisions, sector literacy, accumulation problem, complexity, information

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