Wednesday January 29, 2014
1:00PM - 2:30PM
Feeling Good about Doing Bad in Conflict-of-Interest Settings.
People are motivated to obtain an accurate understanding of the world, and consider themselves beacons of objectivity, yet events prosaic and profound call into question their ability to uncover the truth when doing so is unprofitable. Self-advantageous inaccuracies occur in the financial world, scientific research, medicine, and a myriad of other arenas. The sheer ubiquity of these mistakes leads one to contemplate the manner by which a conflicting desire for personal gain unduly influences people entrusted with uncovering the truth. Why can people so easily misrepresent reality when doing so is profitable? In two projects I explore when and why people fail to defer the pursuit of a personal interest to the pursuit of a formal obligation.