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Think different: the merits of unconscious thought in preference development and decision making.
J Pers Soc Psychol 2004; 87(5):586-98JP

Abstract

The role of unconscious and conscious thought in decision making was investigated in 5 experiments. Because of the low processing capacity of consciousness, conscious thought was hypothesized to be maladaptive when making complex decisions. Conversely, unconscious thought was expected to be highly effective. In Experiments 1-3, participants were presented with a complex decision problem in which they had to choose between various alternatives, each with multiple attributes. Some participants had to make a decision immediately after being presented with the options. In the conscious thought condition, participants could think about the decision for a few minutes. In the unconscious thought condition, participants were distracted for a few minutes and then indicated their decision. Throughout the experiments, unconscious thinkers made the best decisions. Additional evidence obtained in Experiments 4 and 5 suggests that unconscious thought leads to clearer, more polarized, and more integrated representations in memory.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Social Psychology Program, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands. a.j.dijksterhuis@uva.nl

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15535773

Citation

Dijksterhuis, Ap. "Think Different: the Merits of Unconscious Thought in Preference Development and Decision Making." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 87, no. 5, 2004, pp. 586-98.
Dijksterhuis A. Think different: the merits of unconscious thought in preference development and decision making. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004;87(5):586-98.
Dijksterhuis, A. (2004). Think different: the merits of unconscious thought in preference development and decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(5), pp. 586-98.
Dijksterhuis A. Think Different: the Merits of Unconscious Thought in Preference Development and Decision Making. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004;87(5):586-98. PubMed PMID: 15535773.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Think different: the merits of unconscious thought in preference development and decision making. A1 - Dijksterhuis,Ap, PY - 2004/11/13/pubmed PY - 2005/3/17/medline PY - 2004/11/13/entrez SP - 586 EP - 98 JF - Journal of personality and social psychology JO - J Pers Soc Psychol VL - 87 IS - 5 N2 - The role of unconscious and conscious thought in decision making was investigated in 5 experiments. Because of the low processing capacity of consciousness, conscious thought was hypothesized to be maladaptive when making complex decisions. Conversely, unconscious thought was expected to be highly effective. In Experiments 1-3, participants were presented with a complex decision problem in which they had to choose between various alternatives, each with multiple attributes. Some participants had to make a decision immediately after being presented with the options. In the conscious thought condition, participants could think about the decision for a few minutes. In the unconscious thought condition, participants were distracted for a few minutes and then indicated their decision. Throughout the experiments, unconscious thinkers made the best decisions. Additional evidence obtained in Experiments 4 and 5 suggests that unconscious thought leads to clearer, more polarized, and more integrated representations in memory. SN - 0022-3514 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15535773/Think_different:_the_merits_of_unconscious_thought_in_preference_development_and_decision_making_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/87/5/586 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -