Effects of ease of retrieval on confirmatory information search

Bin Ling1, Lijun Sun2, Jinliang Gu3
1Business School, Hohai University, People’s Republic of China
2College of Education, Shanghai Normal University, People’s Republic of China
3School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Dianji University, People’s Republic of China
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, 309-320.

Volume 45 Issue 2 | e4937 | Published: March 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.4937

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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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