Prevailing theories of judgmental contrasts propose mechanisms ranging from relatively low versus high degrees of thought. The present research tests the hypothesis that the degree of thought involved in producing judgmental contrast has important implications. In three experiments, participants' ability or motivation to engage in effortful thinking was manipulated. In Experiment 1, varying personal relevance produced equivalent contrast effects, but these judgments differed in certainty. In two additional studies, despite equivalent amounts of contrast, a manipulation of the order of the standards and target of comparison led to differences in certainty (Experiment 2) and attitude-behavioral intention correspondence (Experiment 3). This is the first research to show that amount of thinking has implications for the strength and consequences of the judgment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology