Four empirical tests of Unconscious Thought Theory
According to Unconscious Thought Theory, people make better decisions after unconscious than after conscious thought (Dijksterhuis, Bos, Nordgren, & van Baaren, 2006a). Unconscious Thought Theory yields four specific predictions. First, an exact replication of Dijksterhuis et al. (2006a) study should indicate that unconscious decisions are superior to conscious decisions. Second, decisions should improve with duration of conscious thought. Third, unconscious decisions should be superior to conscious decisions, even if unconscious decisions are deliberated while having access to information. Fourth, unconscious decisions should be based on a weighting strategy. We report results of four studies, featuring 480 participants, that yield no evidence in favor of these predictions. Therefore our findings cast doubt on Unconscious Thought Theory and its advice to base decisions on unconscious thought. The results of our studies suggest that it is better to base decisions on conscious thought while having access to information.
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Volume (Year): 117 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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