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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 Mar;94(3):382-95. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.3.382.

Self-regulation and selective exposure: the impact of depleted self-regulation resources on confirmatory information processing.

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School of Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.


In the present research, the authors investigated the impact of self-regulation resources on confirmatory information processing, that is, the tendency of individuals to systematically prefer standpoint-consistent information to standpoint-inconsistent information in information evaluation and search. In 4 studies with political and economic decision-making scenarios, it was consistently found that individuals with depleted self-regulation resources exhibited a stronger tendency for confirmatory information processing than did individuals with nondepleted self-regulation resources. Alternative explanations based on processes of ego threat, cognitive load, and mood were ruled out. Mediational analyses suggested that individuals with depleted self-regulation resources experienced increased levels of commitment to their own standpoint, which resulted in increased confirmatory information processing. In sum, the impact of ego depletion on confirmatory information search seems to be more motivational than cognitive in nature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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