How Preliminary Are Preliminary Decisions?

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Abstract.The present research focuses on the question of whether even a preliminary decision causes a confirmation bias in order to maintain the status quo and examines individual differences in consistency between the preliminary and final decision and biased information processing. Dispositional Need for Closure (NFC, Webster & Kruglanski, 1994) was expected to predict revision or maintenance of the preliminary decision (decision consistency) after additional information on the issue was searched for and evaluated. Participants higher on dispositional NFC were less likely to change their preliminary decision than participants lower on dispositional NFC. Furthermore, the effect of NFC on decision consistency was fully mediated by biased information evaluation following the preliminary decision.

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