The goal of consistency as a cause of information distortion

J. Russo, K Carlson, M Meloy, K. YONG

Journal of Experimental Psychology -General

August 2008, vol. 137, n°3, pp.456-470

Departments: Management & Human Resources

pas sous affiliation hecWhy, during a decision between new alternatives, do people bias their evaluations of information to support a tentatively preferred option? The authors test the following 3 decision process goals as the potential drivers of such distortion of information: (a) to reduce the effort of evaluating new information, (b) to increase the separation between alternatives, and (c) to achieve consistency between old and new units of information. Two methods, the nonconscious priming of each goal and assessing the ambient activation levels of multiple goals, reveal that the goal of consistency drives information distortion. Results suggest the potential value of combining these methods in studying the dynamics of multiple, simultaneously active goalsAuthor Keywords: biases; choice; decision process; goals; information distortion KeyWords Plus: PREDECISIONAL DISTORTION; DECISION-MAKING; CONSTRAINT SATISFACTION; IMPRESSION-FORMATION; COGNITIVE APPROACH; LEXICAL-DECISION; BINARY CHOICE; ACTIVATION; PURSUIT; MEMORY