Deliberative vs Disingenuous Subjects on the Social Desirability of Need for Cognition

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Petty and Cacioppo's need for cognition scale (NCS)—both long version and short version—correlated significantly with the social desirability scale of Crowne and Marlowe. Inasmuch as need for cognition is an important individual-difference variable in Petty and Cacioppo's elaboration likelihood model of attitude change, caution seems warranted whenever this model is used in settings associated with cognitive achievement, lest subjects disingenuously feign cognitive need in a socially desirable attempt to appear “smart” or deliberative.

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