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PSY426H1 (15)


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University of Toronto St. George
Jason Plaks

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 digits - 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 intelligence. - 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 sought. - Namely, individuals under high need for closure seek more prototypical information about a category, than diagnostic information which would allow them to make finer distinctions - For example, if ps are asked to judge whether the target is a painter, ps under high need for closure will rely on broad category characteristics, such as artistic ability and will not generate competing hypotheses, such as that the target is an architect. Because they will not generate competing hypotheses, ps will be less likely to pay attention to more subtle information about the target, such as whether the target leads a bohemian lifestyle, which would presumably allow the ps to distinguish bw architect and painter 5) Early-Cue Utilization Another implication is that individuals under high need for closure tend to base their final judgments on early cues. 1) Impressional Primacy Effects Several studies which induced the need for closure in a variety of ways showed that ps under high need for closure demonstrate a stronger primacy effect. 2) Anchoring Effects Another effect that becomes stronger when ps are under high need for closure (don’t really get what it is) 3) The Correspondence Bias - Another example of overutilization of early cues -Refers to a perceiver tendency to over ascribe actors’ behaviour to personal inclinations in the presence of situa
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