Correction of Manipulated Responses in the Choice Blindness Paradigm: What are the Predictors?

AbstractChoice blindness is a cognitive phenomenon describing that when people receive false feedback about a choice they just made, they often accept the outcome as their own. Little is known about what predisposes people to correct manipulations they are subjected to in choice blindness studies. In this study, 118 participants answered a political attitude survey and were then asked to explain some of their responses out of which three had been manipulated to indicate an opposite position. Just over half (58.4%) of the manipulations were corrected. We measured extremity, centrality and commitment for each attitude, and one week prior to the experiment we assessed participants’ preference for consistency, need for cognition and political awareness. Only extremity was able to predict correction. The results highlight the elusiveness of choice blindness and speak against dissonance and lack of motivation to engage in cognitively demanding tasks as explanations why the effect occurs.

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