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The process of selective exposure: Why confirmatory information search weakens over time

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Listed:
  • Fischer, Peter
  • Lea, Stephen
  • Kastenmüller, Andreas
  • Greitemeyer, Tobias
  • Fischer, Julia
  • Frey, Dieter

Abstract

The present research investigated whether the tendency to prefer decision-consistent to decision-inconsistent information after making a preliminary choice would vary during the sequential process of searching for additional pieces of decision-relevant information. Specifically, it was tested whether decision makers would be more confirmatory in their information evaluation and search at the commencement rather than end of an information search process. In fact, five studies revealed that participants exhibited stronger confirmatory tendencies in both information evaluation (Studies 2 and 5) and search (Studies 1, 3, and 4) immediately after making a preliminary decision compared to during the later stages of an information search process. With regard to the underlying mechanism, results further revealed that individuals appear to be more motivated to detect the best decision alternative at the beginning (as opposed to the end) of an information search process, which leads to increases in confirmatory information processing during these stages.

Suggested Citation

  • Fischer, Peter & Lea, Stephen & Kastenmüller, Andreas & Greitemeyer, Tobias & Fischer, Julia & Frey, Dieter, 2011. "The process of selective exposure: Why confirmatory information search weakens over time," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 37-48, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:114:y:2011:i:1:p:37-48
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simonson, Itamar & Nye, Peter, 1992. "The effect of accountability on susceptibility to decision errors," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 416-446, April.
    2. Jonas, Eva & Frey, Dieter, 2003. "Information search and presentation in advisor-client interactions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 154-168, July.
    3. Kray, Laura J. & Galinsky, Adam D., 2003. "The debiasing effect of counterfactual mind-sets: Increasing the search for disconfirmatory information in group decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 69-81, May.
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