Confidence and construal framing: When confidence increases versus decreases information processing

Echo Wen Wan, Derek D. Rucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

A large literature demonstrates that people process information more carefully in states of low compared to high confidence. This article presents an alternative hypothesis that either high or low confidence can increase or decrease information processing on the basis of how information is construed. Five experiments demonstrate two sets of findings supporting this alternative formulation. First, low confidence leads people to focus on concrete construals, whereas high confidence leads people to focus on abstract construals. Second, people in a state of low confidence view messages framed in a concrete manner as more relevant and thus engage in greater processing of messages framed concretely; in contrast, people in a state of high confidence view messages framed in an abstract manner as more relevant and thus engage in greater processing of messages framed abstractly. These results enrich the literature by providing a fundamental shift in understanding how psychological confidence influences information processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-992
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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