NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Coarse Thinking and Persuasion

Sendhil Mullainathan, Joshua Schwartzstein, Andrei Shleifer

NBER Working Paper No. 12720
Issued in December 2006
NBER Program(s):   AP   CF   IO

We present a model of coarse thinking, in which individuals group situations into categories, and transfer the informational content of a given message from situations in a category where it is useful to those where it is not. The model explains how uninformative messages can be persuasive, particularly in low involvement situations, and how objectively informative messages can be dropped by the persuader without the audience assuming the worst. The model sheds light on product branding, the structure of product attributes, and several puzzling aspects of mutual fund advertising.

download in pdf format
   (336 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (336 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12720

Published: Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 577-619, 05.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Mullainathan and Shleifer w11838 Persuasion in Finance
DellaVigna and Gentzkow w15298 Persuasion: Empirical Evidence
Murphy and Shleifer w10248 Persuasion in Politics
Kamenica and Gentzkow w15540 Bayesian Persuasion
Mullainathan and Shleifer w9295 Media Bias
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us