Research Repository

Think, blink or sleep on it? The impact of modes of thought on complex decision making

Newell, Ben R and Wong, Kwan Yao and Cheung, Jeremy C H and Rakow, Tim (2009) 'Think, blink or sleep on it? The impact of modes of thought on complex decision making.' The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62 (4). pp. 707-732. ISSN 1747-0218

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

This paper examines controversial claims about the merit of “unconscious thought” for making complex decisions. In four experiments, participants were presented with complex decisions and were asked to choose the best option immediately, after a period of conscious deliberation, or after a period of distraction (said to encourage “unconscious thought processes”). In all experiments the majority of participants chose the option predicted by their own subjective attribute weighting scores, regardless of the mode of thought employed. There was little evidence for the superiority of choices made “unconsciously”, but some evidence that conscious deliberation can lead to better choices. The final experiment suggested that the task is best conceptualized as one involving “online judgement” rather than one in which decisions are made after periods of deliberation or distraction. The results suggest that we should be cautious in accepting the advice to “stop thinking” about complex decisions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decision making, Unconscious thought, Online judgement, Deliberation.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2011 15:38
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2011 15:38
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item