Selective exposure to information: How different modes of decision making affect subsequent confirmatory information processing

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Professor Dr Peter Fischer, Department of Psychology, Social Psychology, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Universitaetsplatz 2, 8010 Graz, Austria (e-mail: peter.fischer@uni-graz.at).

Abstract

We investigated whether different modes of decision making (deliberate, intuitive, distracted) affect subsequent confirmatory processing of decision-consistent and inconsistent information. Participants showed higher levels of confirmatory information processing when they made a deliberate or an intuitive decision versus a decision under distraction (Studies 1 and 2). As soon as participants have a cognitive (i.e., deliberate cognitive analysis) or affective (i.e., intuitive and gut feeling) reason for their decision, the subjective confidence in the validity of their decision increases, which results in increased levels of confirmatory information processing (Study 2). In contrast, when participants are distracted during decision making, they are less certain about the validity of their decision and thus are subsequently more balanced in the processing of decision-relevant information.

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