Need for closure and heuristic information processing: The moderating role of the ability to achieve the need for closure


Correspondence should be addressed to Małgorzata Kossowska, Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, al. Mickiewicza 3, 31–120 Kraków, Poland. (e-mail:


In contrast to the ample research that shows a positive relationship between the need for closure (NFC) and heuristic information processing, this research examines the hypothesis that this relationship is moderated by the ability to achieve closure (AAC), that is, the ability to use information-processing strategies consistent with the level of NFC. Three different operationalizations of heuristic information processing were used: recall of information consistent with the impression (Study 1); pre-decisional information search (Study 2); and stereotypic impression formation (Study 3). The results of the studies showed that there were positive relationships between NFC and heuristic information processing when participants assessed themselves as being able to use cognitive strategies consistent with their level of NFC (high AAC). For individuals with low AAC, the relationships were negative. Our data show that motivation–cognition interactions influence the information-processing style.