Effects of prior impressions, time pressure, cognitive complexity, and cognitive ability on information gathering and decision making strategies
Day, James A.
Schneider, David J.
Master of Arts
Using a computerized information display board, subjects gathered information regarding applicants and subsequently evaluated the applicants. Results showed that subjects with prior impressions operated under a confirmatory bias during the information search and during the subsequent decision making process. This effect was greater for subjects under time pressure and with lesser cognitive complexity. Subjects having no prior impressions preferred to gather diagnostic information. Subjects under time pressure demonstrated a noncompensatory processing strategy by increasing the rate of processing, gathering less information, and showing greater variance in dimensional accesses. Subjects under severe time pressure demonstrated greater variance in applicant accesses, focused on the information dimensions most important to them, and had significantly more Type 4 (nonsystematic) transitions. Subjects with lesser cognitive complexity eliminated applicants from consideration sooner than did subjects with greater cognitive complexity. Subjects with lesser cognitive ability were more likely to immediately reaccess information and gathered less information.
Industrial psychology; Psychology; Social psychology