In a session on decision making Petter is going to talk about choice blindness and self-knowledge, the things we think we know about ourselves, but don’t.
Petter Johansson is an associate in Cognitive Science at Lund University, Sweden. The main theme of his research is self-knowledge: How much do we know about ourselves, and how do we come to acquire this knowledge? To study these questions, Petter have together with his collaborators developed an experimental paradigm called Choice Blindness. The methodological twist of these experiments is to surreptitiously manipulate the outcome of people’s choices, and then measure to what extent they detect and in what ways they react to these changes.
The general finding is that the participants in these experiments often fail to detect when they receive the opposite of their choice, and when asked to explain why they choose the way they did, they readily construct answers motivating a choice they only believe they intended to make. This effect has been demonstrated in choice experiments concerning as diverse topics as facial attractiveness, consumer choice, and moral and political decision making.