Non-Confrontational Extremists

Daniel L. Chen, Mordechai Michaeli, Daniel Spiro

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Preference falsification, the act of misrepresenting one’s beliefs under social pressure, is widespread but not ubiquitous. We show that when individuals perceive a concave cost of deviating from their principles, ideological extremists are more likely to falsify preferences. Being in ideological minority, they cave-in on decisions they disagree with ideologically because once they deviate slightly, further deviations entail relatively little additional cost. To this result—ideological perfectionism—which is supported by recent lab experiments, we add the first evidence in a high-stakes field setting regarding which individuals, on an ideological scale, conform under social pressure and which stand their ground.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages85
StatePublished - 2019


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