Eva Jonas, Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Peter Fischer and Dieter Frey (2006)

Biased information seeking after decisions : Cognitive and motivational bases

In: False, ed. Frey, Dieter. Hogrefe

Presents a comprehensive overview of theoretical and empirical research on biased information seeking in decision-making. A conceptual framework is discussed that draws on the cognitive dissonance theory and the multiple-motive heuristic systematic model. Reviewed studies on defense motivation focus on preferences for supporting versus conflicting information, the effects of commitment and decision salience on information search, differences between sequential versus simultaneous information seeking, and differences between decision and information focus. Studies on impression motivation and accuracy motivation have also differentiated between preferences for supporting versus conflicting information, but have also examined the role of accountability for decision outcomes, the influence of experienced failure on information search, and the asymmetric evaluation of expected information quality. Additional topics include the effects of heightened accuracy motivation on unintended confirmatory information search, and intentional constraints on unintended confirmation bias. Some practical interventions are suggested to make biased information seeking more transparent and to facilitate optimal decision-making.