Craving activity and losing objectivity: Effects of general action concepts on approach to decision-consistent information

William Hart, Dolores Albarracin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

In light of U.S. society's ever increasing need for activity, the authors used three experiments to examine how general action concepts, activated by subtle priming methods, influence choices to approach information that confirms a recent decision. Findings from Experiments 1 to 3 revealed that viewing action (vs. control) words prior to information selection increased selective approach to supporting information, but viewing inaction (vs. control) words reduced this bias. Experiment 3 also showed that the effect of the action words on this confirmation bias was smaller when participants were allowed to self-affirm by writing about an important personal value. In addition, the experiments found that viewing the action words caused the selection of more total information than viewing the inaction words. The authors conclude that the growing need for activity in the United States may contribute to a loss of objectivity in the way citizens gather information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Fingerprint

Craving

Keywords

  • action/inaction
  • attitude
  • goal
  • selective exposure
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

@article{54e1976bd3114eb6a85052458010697c,
title = "Craving activity and losing objectivity: Effects of general action concepts on approach to decision-consistent information",
abstract = "In light of U.S. society's ever increasing need for activity, the authors used three experiments to examine how general action concepts, activated by subtle priming methods, influence choices to approach information that confirms a recent decision. Findings from Experiments 1 to 3 revealed that viewing action (vs. control) words prior to information selection increased selective approach to supporting information, but viewing inaction (vs. control) words reduced this bias. Experiment 3 also showed that the effect of the action words on this confirmation bias was smaller when participants were allowed to self-affirm by writing about an important personal value. In addition, the experiments found that viewing the action words caused the selection of more total information than viewing the inaction words. The authors conclude that the growing need for activity in the United States may contribute to a loss of objectivity in the way citizens gather information.",
keywords = "action/inaction, attitude, goal, selective exposure, social cognition",
author = "William Hart and Dolores Albarracin",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1948550611408620",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
pages = "55--62",
journal = "Social Psychological and Personality Science",
issn = "1948-5506",
publisher = "Sage Periodicals Press",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Craving activity and losing objectivity

T2 - Effects of general action concepts on approach to decision-consistent information

AU - Hart, William

AU - Albarracin, Dolores

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - In light of U.S. society's ever increasing need for activity, the authors used three experiments to examine how general action concepts, activated by subtle priming methods, influence choices to approach information that confirms a recent decision. Findings from Experiments 1 to 3 revealed that viewing action (vs. control) words prior to information selection increased selective approach to supporting information, but viewing inaction (vs. control) words reduced this bias. Experiment 3 also showed that the effect of the action words on this confirmation bias was smaller when participants were allowed to self-affirm by writing about an important personal value. In addition, the experiments found that viewing the action words caused the selection of more total information than viewing the inaction words. The authors conclude that the growing need for activity in the United States may contribute to a loss of objectivity in the way citizens gather information.

AB - In light of U.S. society's ever increasing need for activity, the authors used three experiments to examine how general action concepts, activated by subtle priming methods, influence choices to approach information that confirms a recent decision. Findings from Experiments 1 to 3 revealed that viewing action (vs. control) words prior to information selection increased selective approach to supporting information, but viewing inaction (vs. control) words reduced this bias. Experiment 3 also showed that the effect of the action words on this confirmation bias was smaller when participants were allowed to self-affirm by writing about an important personal value. In addition, the experiments found that viewing the action words caused the selection of more total information than viewing the inaction words. The authors conclude that the growing need for activity in the United States may contribute to a loss of objectivity in the way citizens gather information.

KW - action/inaction

KW - attitude

KW - goal

KW - selective exposure

KW - social cognition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=83755228782&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=83755228782&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1948550611408620

DO - 10.1177/1948550611408620

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:83755228782

VL - 3

SP - 55

EP - 62

JO - Social Psychological and Personality Science

JF - Social Psychological and Personality Science

SN - 1948-5506

IS - 1

ER -