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Want for cognition – Wikipedia

Want for cognition – Wikipedia

2023-03-01 21:34:55

Psychology idea

Want for Cognition is related to deep thought

The want for cognition (NFC), in psychology, is a personality variable reflecting the extent to which people are inclined in the direction of effortful cognitive actions.[1][2]

Want for cognition has been variously outlined as “a have to construction related conditions in significant, built-in methods” and “a necessity to grasp and make cheap the experiential world”.[3] Larger NFC is related to elevated appreciation of debate, thought analysis, and drawback fixing. These with a excessive want for cognition could also be inclined in the direction of high elaboration. These with a decrease want for cognition might show reverse tendencies, and will course of info extra heuristically, typically by means of low elaboration.[4]

Want for cognition is carefully associated to the five factor model area openness to experience, typical intellectual engagement, and epistemic curiosity (see beneath).

Historical past[edit]

Cohen, Stotland and Wolfe (1955),[3] of their work on particular person variations in cognitive motivation, recognized a “want for cognition” which they outlined as “the person’s want to arrange his expertise meaningfully”, the “have to construction related conditions in significant, built-in methods”, and “want to grasp and make cheap the experiential world” (p. 291). They argued that, if this “want” have been pissed off, it will generate “emotions of stress and deprivation” that will instigate “lively efforts to construction the scenario and enhance understanding” (p. 291), although the actual conditions arousing and satisfying the necessity might differ (p. 291). Cohen argued that even in structured conditions, folks excessive in NFC see ambiguity and attempt for greater requirements of cognitive readability.

Cohen and colleagues[3][5] themselves recognized a number of prior identifications of want for cognition, citing works by Murphy, Maslow, Katz, Harlow and Asch.[6][7][8][9][10] They[3] distinguished their idea from the apparently related “intolerance of ambiguity” proposed by Frenkel-Brunswik,[11] arguing that NFC doesn’t mirror the necessity to expertise an built-in and significant world. Up to date analysis means that Cohen’s conception of want is, nevertheless, nearer to tolerance of ambiguity, want for construction, or want for cognitive closure than to present concepts of want for cognition. As an illustration, research utilizing Cohen’s measures indicated avoidance of ambiguity and a have to get “which means” even when this meant counting on heuristics or professional recommendation reasonably than cautious scrutiny of incoming info.[12]

Constructing on this work, Cacioppo due to this fact moved away from drive-reduction towards measuring individual differences within the self-reward potential of cognitive exercise,[13]: 988  stressing (p. 118) that they have been utilizing the phrase want within the statistical sense of a “probability or tendency”, reasonably than within the rudimentary organic sense of “tissue deprivation”, they outlined the necessity for cognition as a person’s tendency to “have interaction in and revel in considering” (p. 116) and the tendency to “manage, summary, and consider info” (p. 124)—or, variously, as a steady, however individually totally different “tendency to have interaction in and revel in effortful cognitive endeavors”, or an “intrinsic motivation to have interaction in effortful cognitive endeavors… and train their psychological colleges”,[12]: 197  or an “intrinsic motivation for effortful thought”.[13]: 997 

Cacioppo and Petty (1982) created their very own 34-item scale to measure the necessity for cognition. Two years later, an 18-item model was printed[14] and in many of the circumstances reported within the subsequent literature it’s this amended scale that’s administered. Lately, a 6-item model of the necessity for cognition scale was proposed that’s akin to the 18-item scale when it comes to validity and reliability.[15]


Individuals excessive within the want for cognition usually tend to kind their attitudes by paying shut consideration to related arguments (i.e., through the central route to persuasion), whereas folks low within the want for cognition usually tend to depend on peripheral cues, reminiscent of how enticing or credible a speaker is. Individuals low in want for cognition are additionally extra prone to depend on stereotypes alone in judging different folks than these excessive in want for cognition.[16]

Psychological analysis on the necessity for cognition has been performed utilizing self-report assessments, the place analysis individuals answered a collection of statements reminiscent of “I want my life to be crammed with puzzles that I need to resolve” and have been scored on how a lot they felt the statements represented them. The outcomes have urged that people who find themselves excessive within the want for cognition scale rating barely greater in verbal intelligence assessments however no greater in summary reasoning assessments.[12]

Analysis has concluded that people excessive in NFC are much less prone to attribute greater social desirability to extra enticing people or to mates.[17] Faculty college students excessive in NFC report greater life satisfaction.[18]

A research on lucid dreaming discovered that frequent and occasional lucid dreamers scored greater on NFC than non-lucid dreamers.[16][19] This means there’s continuity between waking and dreaming cognitive types. Researchers have argued that it’s because self-reflectiveness or self-focused consideration is heightened in lucid desires and in addition is related to better want for cognition.

Relationship to intelligence[edit]

Plenty of research have discovered average correlations between NFC and measures of verbal intelligence. One research discovered that want for cognition had a average constructive correlation with fluid intelligence (reasoning capacity, notably verbal, and to a lesser extent numeric and figural reasoning), and a weaker correlation with crystallised intelligence (information), which had a lot smaller constructive correlations.[20]

Twin-system principle[edit]

NFC has been included into Epstein’s dual-system principle of persona known as cognitive-experiential self-theory.[16] The idea proposes that individuals have two info processing methods, a rational system and an experiential system. The rational system is considered logical, verbal and comparatively unemotional. The experiential system is considered intuitive, primarily based on photos and extremely reliant on emotion. A modified model of the Want for Cognition scale has been used to evaluate particular person variations within the rational system, whereas the experiential system has been assessed utilizing a scale known as Religion in Instinct.

Analysis reveals that the 2 methods are uncorrelated and therefore impartial of one another. That’s people both excessive or low in want for cognition may additionally make use of their intuitions in forming judgments. In actual fact, people excessive and low in want for cognition respectively might make use of their intuitions in differing methods. When people give little thought to their judgments these judgments could also be influenced instantly by feelings, intuitions, and pictures in an automated approach. Alternatively, those that are excessive in want for cognition have a tendency to present extra thought to their judgments, and the ideas generated could also be not directly biased by their feelings, intuitions, and pictures. Therefore people excessive in want for cognition aren’t essentially extra “rational” than these low on this trait, if their religion in instinct can be excessive. Fairly, their “irrational” intuitions are usually given extra considerate elaboration than those that are low in want for cognition and but additionally excessive in religion in instinct.[16]

See Also

Biases and determination making[edit]

NFC is related to the quantity of thought that goes into making a choice. Each excessive and low ranges of the trait could also be related to specific biases in judgment. Individuals low in want for cognition have a tendency to point out extra bias when this bias is because of counting on psychological shortcuts, that’s, heuristic biases. Individuals excessive on this trait are usually extra affected by biases which can be generated by effortful thought.[16]

False reminiscences[edit]

Excessive want for cognition is related to a better susceptibility to the creation of false reminiscences related to sure studying duties. In a generally used analysis paradigm, individuals are requested to memorise a listing of associated phrases. Recognition is examined by having them select realized phrases from a set of studied and non-studied objects. Sure non-studied objects are conceptually associated to studied objects (e.g., chair if the unique record contained desk and legs). Individuals excessive in NFC usually tend to present false memory for these lures, resulting from their better elaboration of realized objects in reminiscence as they’re extra probably to think about semantically associated (however non-studied) objects.[16]

Halo results[edit]

A bias related to low want for cognition is the halo effect, a phenomenon through which enticing or likeable folks are usually rated as superior on quite a lot of different traits (e.g., intelligence). Individuals low on NFC usually tend to depend on stereotypes reasonably than particular person options of an individual when ranking a novel goal. Individuals excessive in NFC nonetheless present a halo impact nevertheless, albeit a smaller one, maybe as a result of their ideas concerning the goal are nonetheless biased by the goal’s attractiveness.[16]

Relationship with persona traits[edit]

Associated constructs[edit]

NFC has been discovered to be strongly related to various independently developed constructs, particularly epistemic curiosity, typical intellectual engagement, and openness to ideas.[21]

  • Epistemic curiosity will be outlined as “want for information that motivates people to be taught new concepts, get rid of information-gaps, and resolve mental issues”.[21]

Typical mental engagement was proposed by Goff and Ackerman (1992) and was outlined as a “persona assemble that represents a person’s aversion or attraction to duties which can be intellectually taxing”.[21]

  • Openness to concepts is a side of openness to experience related to “elements of being open minded, partaking in unconventional ideas, and fixing issues and considering as an finish in itself”.[21]
Primarily based on the very giant constructive correlation between NFC and typical mental engagement (r = .78) it has been argued that they might be basically the identical assemble.[22]
  • Additional research have discovered that NFC, typical mental engagement, epistemic curiosity, and openness to concepts have been all strongly intercorrelated. Factor analysis confirmed that measures of all 4 constructs loaded strongly onto a single issue suggesting all of them share a typical conceptual foundation.[21]
The creator of this research argued that though the 4 constructs lack discriminant validity they aren’t essentially all conceptually equal as every one might emphasise specific elements of functioning greater than others.
  • A research evaluating want for cognition and openness to concepts utilizing confirmatory issue evaluation discovered that though the 2 constructs have been very strongly associated they weren’t redundant. NFC and openness to concepts had considerably contrasting correlation patterns with different persona traits.
For instance, NFC was extra strongly correlated with emotional stability and exercise than openness to concepts, whereas openness to concepts was extra strongly correlated with novelty and experience seeking than NFC.[20]

Different persona traits[edit]

  • Throughout the Big Five mannequin of persona, NFC has been discovered to narrate positively to openness to experience most strongly and to a extra average extent to conscientiousness, notably the competence and achievement striving aspects, and to narrate inversely to an extent to neuroticism.[20][23][24]
  • Concerning Cloninger‘s temperament traits, NFC has been associated negatively to harm avoidance and positively to persistence and was unrelated to reward dependence or novelty seeking.[20]
  • NFC has solely a weak constructive relationship with sensation seeking, particularly a weak correlation with the boredom susceptibility subscale however no relationship to the opposite subscales.[20]
  • NFC has a modest inverse correlation with negative affect. NFC had no important correlation with a broad measure of total constructive have an effect on, though it was positively correlated with emotions of exercise, curiosity, and application.[20]
  • NFC has been positively associated to different, theoretically unrelated, persona traits reminiscent of self-esteem, masculine sex-role attitudes, and absorption.
  • NFC is negatively associated to social anxiety (extra strongly in females than males).[25][26]
  • It has been speculated that individuals who extra fastidiously analyse their world really feel a better sense of mastery, and therefore better shallowness, though it’s also doable that greater shallowness might result in better motivation to have interaction in considering.
  • NFC could also be associated to masculine sex-role because of the stereotype associating masculinity with rationality.
  • Concerning absorption, folks excessive in NFC might discover it simpler to commit their attentional processes completely to mental duties.
  • Concerning social nervousness, it’s doable that better consideration to cognitive exercise could also be related to lowered consideration to social cues related to unfavorable analysis.[25]
  • NFC is positively associated to stimulation, self-direction, and universalism values, and negatively to safety and conformity values.[15]


Analysis has proven that high-need-for-cognition customers want open-ended comparative promoting that permits customers to resolve which model is greatest.[27]

NFC has additionally supplied insights into how folks reply to various website online designs. Martin, Sherrard and Wentzel (2005) show that high-need for cognition folks want internet sites with excessive verbal complexity (extra in-depth info) and low visible complexity (static photos reasonably than animations).[28]

See additionally[edit]

  1. ^ Cacioppo, John T.; Petty, Richard E. (1982). “The need for cognition”. Journal of Character and Social Psychology. 42 (1): 116–131. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.42.1.116.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Cacioppo, Rodriguez; Petty, John T.; Kao, Richard E.; Feng, Chuan; Regina (1986). “Central and peripheral routes to persuasion: An individual difference perspective”. Journal of Character and Social Psychology. 51 (5): 1032–1043. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.51.5.1032.
  3. ^ a b c d Cohen, A.R.; Stotland, E.; Wolfe, D.M. (1955). “An Experimental Investigation of Want for Cognition”. Journal of Irregular and Social Psychology. 51 (2): 291–294. doi:10.1037/h0042761. PMID 13263045.
  4. ^ Dole, J.A.; Sinatra, G.M. (1998). “Reconceptualizing Change within the Cognitive Development of Data”. Instructional Psychologist. 33 (2–3): 109–128. doi:10.1080/00461520.1998.9653294.
  5. ^ Cohen, A.R. (1957). “Want for Cognition and Order of Communication as Determinants of Opinion Change,” 79–97. In Hovland, C.I. (ed.), The Order of Presentation in Persuasion, Yale College Press, (New Haven).
  6. ^ Murphy, G. Character. New York: Harper, 1947
  7. ^ Maslow, A.H. “A principle of human motivation”. Psychol. Rev. 1943 (50): 370–396.
  8. ^ Katz, D.; Sarnoff, I. (1954). “Motivational bases of perspective change”. J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol. 1954 (49): 115–124. doi:10.1037/h0057453. PMID 13128972.
  9. ^ Harlow, H.F.; Harlow, M.Ok.; Meyer, D. (1950). “Studying motivated by a manipulation drive”. J. Exp. Psychol. 1950 (40): 228–234. doi:10.1037/h0056906. PMID 15415520.
  10. ^ Asch, S.E. Social Psychology. New York, Prentice-Corridor, 1952″.
  11. ^ Frenkel-Brunswik, E (1949). “Intolerance of ambiguity as an emotional and perceptual persona variable”. J. Pers. 18 (3): 108–143. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.1949.tb01236.x. PMID 4833114.
  12. ^ a b c Cacioppo, John T.; Petty, Richard E.; Feinstein, Jeffrey A.; Jarvis, W. Blair G. (March 1996). “Dispositional Variations in Cognitive Motivation: The Life and Occasions of People Various in Want for Cognition”. Psychological Bulletin. 119 (2): 197–253. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.119.2.197.
  13. ^ a b Thompson, E.P.; Chaiken, S.; Hazlewood, J.D. (1993). “Want for Cognition and Want for Management as Moderators of Extrinsic Reward Results: A Individual × State of affairs Strategy to the Research of Intrinsic Motivation”. Journal of Character and Social Psychology. 64 (6): 987–999. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.64.6.987. PMID 8326474.
  14. ^ Cacioppo, J.T.; Petty, R.E.; Kao, C.F. (1984). “The Environment friendly Evaluation of Want for Cognition”. Journal of Character Evaluation. 48 (3): 306–307. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa4803_13. PMID 16367530.
  15. ^ a b Lins de Holanda Coelho, Gabriel; H. P. Hanel, Paul; J. Wolf, Lukas (2018-08-10). “The Very Efficient Assessment of Need for Cognition: Developing a Six-Item Version”. Evaluation. 27 (8): 1870–1885. doi:10.1177/1073191118793208. ISSN 1073-1911. PMC 7545655. PMID 30095000.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Petty, Richard E.; Briñol, P; Loersch, C.; McCaslin, M.J. (2009). “Chapter 21. The Want for Cognition”. In Leary, Mark R.; Hoyle, Rick H. (eds.). Handbook of Particular person Variations in Social habits. New York/London: The Guilford Press. pp. 318–329. ISBN 978-1-59385-647-2.
  17. ^ Perlini, Arthur H.; Hansen, Samantha (2001). “Moderating results of want for cognition on attractiveness stereotyping”. Social Habits and Character. 29 (4): 313–321. doi:10.2224/sbp.2001.29.4.313. S2CID 142569446.
  18. ^ The need for cognition and life satisfaction among college students
  19. ^ Blagrove, M; Hartnell, S.J. (2000). “Lucid dreaming: associations with internal locus of control, need for cognition and creativity” (PDF). Character and Particular person Variations. 28: 41–47. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00078-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  20. ^ a b c d e f Fleischhauer, M.; Enge, S.; Brocke, B.; Ullrich, J.; Strobel, A.; Strobel, A. (2009). “Similar or Completely different? Clarifying the Relationship of Want for Cognition to Character and Intelligence”. Character and Social Psychology Bulletin. 36 (1): 82–96. CiteSeerX doi:10.1177/0146167209351886. PMID 19901274. S2CID 28728034.
  21. ^ a b c d e Mussell, Patrick (2010). “Epistemic curiosity and related constructs: Lacking evidence of discriminant validity”. Character and Particular person Variations. 49 (5): 506–510. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.05.014.
  22. ^ Woo, S.E.; Harms, P.D.; Kuncel, N.R (2007). “Integrating personality and intelligence: Typical intellectual engagement and need for cognition”. Character and Particular person Variations. 43 (6): 1635–1639. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.04.022. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  23. ^ Sadowski, Cyril J.; Cogburn, Helen E. (1997). “Want for Cognition within the Large-5 Issue Construction”. The Journal of Psychology. 131 (3): 307–312. doi:10.1080/00223989709603517.
  24. ^ Pacini, R; Epstein, S (1999). “The relation of rational and experiential info processing types to persona, fundamental beliefs, and the ratio-bias phenomenon”. Journal of Character and Social Psychology. 76 (6): 972–87. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.76.6.972. PMID 10402681.
  25. ^ a b Osberg, Timothy M. (1987). “The Convergent and Discriminant Validity of the Want for Cognition Scale”. Journal of Character Evaluation. 51 (3): 441–450. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa5103_11. PMID 16372844.
  26. ^ Phares, E.J.; Chaplin, W.F. (1997). “Chapter 15. Personality and Intellect”. Introduction to personality (Fourth ed.). New York: Longman. p. 521. ISBN 978-0-673-99456-1.
  27. ^ Martin, Brett A. S.; Lang, Bodo; Wong, Stephanie (2004). “Conclusion Explicitness in Advertising: The Moderating Role of Need for Cognition and Argument Quality” (PDF). Journal of Promoting. 32 (4): 57–65. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/00913367.2003.10639148. S2CID 140844572. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  28. ^ Martin, Brett A. S.; Sherrard, Michael J.; Wentzel, Daniel (2005). “The Role of Sensation Seeking and Need for Cognition on Web-Site Evaluations: A Resource-Matching Perspective” (PDF). Psychology and Advertising and marketing. 22 (2): 109–126. doi:10.1002/mar.20050. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-07.


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  • Nussbaum, E.M. & Bendixen, L.D., “Approaching and Avoiding Arguments: The Position of Epistemological Beliefs, Want for Cognition, and Extraverted Character Traits”, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 4, (October 2003), pp. 573–595.
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  • Watt, J.D. & Blanchard, M.J., “Boredom Proneness and the Want for Cognition”, Journal of Analysis in Character, Vol. 28, No. 1, (March 1994), pp. 44–51.
  • West, S.S., “Class Origin of Scientists”, Sociometry, Vol. 24, No. 3, (September 1961), pp. 251–269.

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