Far Idealism Hypocrisy

Not everything fits this story, but an awful lot does: we are more idealistic in far mode, which helps us hypocritically hold others to higher standards than we hold ourselves:

In 6 studies, we found that advice is more idealistic than choice in decisions that trade off idealistic and pragmatic considerations. We propose that because advisers are more psychologically distant from the choosers’ decision problem, they construe the dilemma at a higher construal level than do choosers. … Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that compared with choosers, advisers weigh idealistic considerations more heavily and pragmatic considerations less heavily, place greater emphasis on ends (why) than on means to achieve the end (how), and generate more reasons (pros) in favor of acting idealistically. Studies 3 and 4 … [show] that making advisers focus on a lower construal level results in more pragmatic recommendations. … Finally, in Studies 5 and 6, we demonstrate the choice–advice difference in consequential real-life decisions. (more)

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  • http://goodmorningeconomics.wordpress.com jsalvatier

    If I were to want to understand the basics of what research says about construal level theory, what are some good literature reviews and/or books on the topic?

  • Mark M

    Which is why it’s easier to give advice than to follow advice.

  • richard silliker

    Far Idealism Hypocrisy

    Hypocrisy or just playing devil’s advocate?

    • http://grognor.blogspot.com/ Grognor

      Playing Devil’s Advocate or just not being conscientious/strategic enough to achieve one’s own far-mode goals?

      • richard silliker

        Can not say why. Just a feeling. Besides this post was not about personal choice, was it?

  • http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com Stephen R Diamond

    There’s an ongoing discussion at Less Wrong (http://lesswrong.com/lw/8q8/urges_vs_goals_the_analogy_to_anticipation_and/) in which, at least broadly, goal setting lines up with far mental processes, whereas “urges” are near. This suggests that far thinking serves a more important function than hypocrisy, as we pretty obviously can’t function at all effectively without goals. I wonder if Hanson agrees with this alignment.

    • http://hanson.gmu.edu Robin Hanson

      Saying that far mode functions to enable hypocrisy doesn’t say that this is its only function.

  • http://omicron-theta.blogspot.com Ari T

    Is this far-mode? Seems like telling the truth (ie. you’re obese) signals rudeness or discomfort to your friend, and thus for example we find it much more useful for our own goals to tell idealistic things (ie. excercise is great). Privately we know the truth. In politics however people might really have wrong beliefs without realizing it on any level.

    In any case, its just moral hazard.