Complex Thinking as a Result of Incongruent Information Exposure


Erisen C., Redlawsk D. P. , ERİŞEN E.

AMERICAN POLITICS RESEARCH, cilt.46, ss.217-245, 2018 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 46 Konu: 2
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1177/1532673x17725864
  • Dergi Adı: AMERICAN POLITICS RESEARCH
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.217-245

Özet

In this article, we explore whether incongruent information influences what people recall to mind about a presidential candidate's policy statements. We investigate whether the volume of people's political thoughts, their ability to produce arguments, the affective valence of these thoughts, and their integrative complexity are influenced by the congruency between new political information and prior political convictions. We conducted an experiment via MTurk manipulating the congruency of information with respect to ideology. Our results show that incongruency significantly alters how people think about politics. Incongruent information increases integrative complexity of the opposing thoughts, becomes more voluminous, and includes more rationales. Moreover, these defensive thoughts are significantly more negative and less positive about the incongruent information. Parallel to what studies on motivated reasoning demonstrated, we also find that politically knowledgeable people in particular seem to strengthen their thoughts' cognitive structure while defending their priors against information counter to their political views. We further discuss the general effects of these results and the importance of challenges to existing beliefs in generating complex thought systems.