Whether buying a new car, hiring a job candidate, or getting married, people assume they can and will use more information to make their decisions than they actually do, according tbo the research.
“Sometimes people need a lot of information to get an accurate reading, and sometimes people don’t need much information at all to get an accurate reading,”
The key insight revealed by our research is that it is hard to understand in advance which is which — people generally think that more information will be better, even when more information simply goes unused
In the era of Google and Facebook, people may believe that exchanging ever-more information will foster better-informed opinions and perspectives when the reality is people are making snap judgments without even begin aware of it.
In a series of seven studies, participants overvalued long-term product trials, overpaid for longer access to information, and overworked to impress others, failing to realize that extra information wouldn’t actually inform anyone’s judgment.
Broadly speaking, we think this discrepancy is especially important in today’s information age, with more access to more information than ever before,” O’Brien says.
“People may think that so much accessible information will be useful for informing opinions and changing each other’s minds, without realizing that minds will be made up nearly right away.”