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PSY426H1 Lecture Notes - Unnecessary Health Care

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Jason Plaks

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Empirical Evidence
- There are two general tendencies that need for closure may instigate: seizing
and freezing
- These two tendencies produce a variety of effects on judgment:
1) Extent of Information Processing
- Seizing will cause ppl to rely on early cues and freezing will prevent them
from further exploration
- Study:
- Kruglanski and Mayseless had ps perform a tachinostoscopic recognition
task of identifying barely visible digits of the screen
- There were 3 conditions: in the need for closure condition ps were told that
forming unambiguous, clear-cut opinions is positively with intelligence
- In the need to avoid closure condition ps were asked to identify the digits as
accurately as possible and promised extra credit for correctly identifying the
- In the neutral condition, no motivation was induced
- Results: As predicted, the extent of informational search was lowest in the
need for closure condition, intermediate in the neutral condition and the
highest in the need to avoid closure condition.
2) Hypothesis Generation
- Seizing and freezing will not only reduce extent of processing of external info,
but also internal hypothesis generation
- Study:
- Ps shown pictures of objects taken from unusual angles
- Ps were instructed to list the maximal number of hypotheses concerning the
object’s identity
- Again, three conditions: need for closure, neutral and need to avoid closure:
- 1) Need for closure- again told that forming unambiguous opinions is
positively correlated with intelligence
- 2) Neutral not given any motivational instructions
- 3) Need to avoid closure: told that correct recognition of object is linked to
- Results: ps in the need for closure condition generated the least hypotheses,
ps in the need to avoid closure generated the most and ps in the control
condition were in the middle.
3) Subjective confidence
Individuals under a high need for closure are more confident in their
judgments and this has been replicated in numerous studies
4) Seeking Diagnostic or Prototypical Information
- Need for closure affects not only the amount but also the type of information
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