An interview with Ananda Ganguly, the Morcos Massoud Associate Professor of Accounting and George R. Roberts Fellow, aired this morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” with science correspondent/host Shankar Vedantam.
Listen now to the five-minute segment: "Why we think ignorance is bliss, even when when it hurts our health.”
Ganguly, with Claremont Graduate University professor Joshua Tasoff, was interviewed last month at the NPR West studio in Culver City, for a segment focusing on “information aversion.”
Ganguly and Tasoff talked at length with Vedantam about their new study, “Fantasy and Dread: An Experimental Test of Attentional Anticipatory Utility.” Their study concludes that people go to great lengths to avoid learning unpleasant information, and seek out good-news information, even when it may be completely useless to them.
For part of the study, the Claremont professors surveyed 194 sexually active young adults and offered testing for two forms of the Herpes Simplex virus. Remarkably, subjects were three times more likely to avoid testing for Herpes Simplex 2, the scarier version of the disease, and even forgo the $10 cash payment for their participation.