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Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

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The impact of background category information on the creation of social cliques: The role of need for cognitive closure and decisiveness

Marcin Bukowski1 / Grzegorz Sędek1 / Małgorzata Kossowska1 / Mariusz Trejtowicz1

Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Al. Mickiewicza 3, Kraków1

Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ul. Chodakowska 19/31, Warszawa2

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Polish Psychological Bulletin. Volume 43, Issue 1, Pages 12–19, ISSN (Print) 0079-2993, DOI: 10.2478/v10059-012-0002-9, June 2012

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The impact of background category information on the creation of social cliques: The role of need for cognitive closure and decisiveness

This article focuses on the role of need for cognitive closure in the process of mental model creation about social relations (i.e. social cliques). We assumed that high (vs. low) need for closure participants tend to rely on background category information when forming social cliques. We predicted that this tendency to employ categorical information as a mental aid, used in order to form social cliques, would be efficient in simple task structures (where category information overlaps with the mental model structure) but would lead to increased error rates in complex task structures (where category information is inconsistent with the model structure). The results confirmed our predictions, showing especially strong effects for the decisiveness component of need for closure. The importance of individual differences in need for closure and decisiveness in social reasoning is discussed.

Keywords: social mental models; categorization; need for cognitive closure; decisiveness

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Marcin Bukowski, Ulrich von Hecker, and Małgorzata Kossowska
Thinking & Reasoning, 2013, Volume 19, Number 2, Page 150

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