Deliberative adjustments of intuitive anchors: the case of diversification behavior

Synthese 189 (S1):131-145 (2012)
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Abstract

As part of the rationality debate, we examine the impact of deliberative and intuitive thinking styles on diversity preference behavior. A sample of 230 students completed the Rational Experiential Inventory and the Diversity Preference Questionnaire, an original measure of diversification behavior in different real-life situations. In cases where no normative solution was available, we found a clear preference for diversity-seeking in the gain domain and diversity-aversion in the loss domain, regardless of cognitive thinking style. However, in cases where one alternative normatively dominated the other, participants high in deliberative thinking style were more calibrated to normative behavior, regardless of whether their intuitive tendency preference and the normative solution were contradictory or pointed in the same direction. Our findings support a model in which deliberative but not intuitive thinking style is the crucial predictor of rational behavior, since it enables people to better adjust their intuitive preference anchor when normative considerations require doing so

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