Effects of ease of retrieval on confirmatory information search

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Bin Ling
Lijun Sun
Jinliang Gu
Cite this article:  Ling, B., Sun, L., & Gu, J. (2017). Effects of ease of retrieval on confirmatory information search. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(2), 309-320.


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We investigated the effects of ease of retrieval on confirmatory information search during and after decision making. In 2 experiments, 166 participants (96 and 70 in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively) were asked to make a decision and then to provide reasons for that decision by describing whether or not they felt that evaluating the reasons for their selection or rejection was easy or difficult. Uniform results in both experiments showed that participants who experienced easy retrieval exhibited stronger confirmatory tendencies in information search than did those who experienced difficult retrieval, irrespective of favorable (Experiment 1) or unfavorable (Experiment 2) reasons. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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