Eva Jonas, Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Dieter Frey and Norman Thelen

Confirmation bias in sequential information search after preliminary decisions: An expansion of dissonance theoretical research on selective exposure to information.

Journal of Personality & Social Psychology

Research on selective exposure to information consistently shows that, after having made a decision, people prefer supporting over conflicting information. However, in all of these experiments participants were given an overview of all available pieces of information, selected them simultaneously, and did not process the requested information during the selection phase. In the present research the authors show that an even stronger preference for supporting information arises if information is presented and processed sequentially instead of simultaneously (Experiment 1), and they demonstrate that this stronger confirmation bias is due to sequential presentation and not to sequential processing of information (Experiment 2). The authors provide evidence that the increase in confirmation bias under sequential presentation is caused by heightened commitment due to the participants' increased focusing on their decision (Experiments 3 and 4). [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Accession Number: 4287418; Jonas, Eva 1; Email Address: jonas@psy.uni-muenchen.de; Schulz-Hardt, Stefan 1; Frey, Dieter 1; Thelen, Norman 1; Affiliations: 1: Ludwig-Maximilians-University; Issue Info: Apr2001, Vol. 80 Issue 4, p557; Thesaurus Term: Decision making; Subject Term: Commitment (Psychology); Subject Term: Prejudices; Subject Term: Conflict (Psychology); Number of Pages: 15p; Illustrations: 4 Charts; Document Type: Article