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Fischer, Peter; Jonas, Eva; Frey, Dieter; Kastenmüller, Andreas (2008)
Publisher: Netherlands
Types: Article
Subjects: decision, Sozialpsychologie, Information search; Selective exposure; Gain framing; Loss framing; Decision-making; Decision certainty, Entscheidungsfindung, Social Sciences & Humanities, Psychology, Social Psychology, decision making, Entscheidung, Informationsverhalten, information capture, Psychologie, information-seeking behavior, Informationsgewinnung
When people make decisions, they often prefer to receive information that supports rather than conflicts with their decision. To date, this effect has mainly been investigated in the context of decisions about gains, whereas decisions about losses have received less attention. Based on Prospect Theory, we expected information search to be differently affected by whether people previously have decided about gains or losses. Three studies have revealed that selectivity of information search is stronger after gain-framed rather than after loss-framed decision problems. An investigation of the underlying psychological processes revealed that gain decisions are made with increased subjective decision certainty (i.e. they are easier and less effortful to make), which in turn systematically increases confirmatory information search.