Feeding the mind's eye: unconscious deliberation needs visual information

Villejoubert, Gaelle [Speaker], Abadie, Marlene and Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic (2009) Feeding the mind's eye: unconscious deliberation needs visual information. In: LJDM seminar; 4 Nov 2009, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Recent research suggests that when we face a choice between several options described with a large number of attributes, we make better choices if we do not consciously ponder over the alternatives but instead engage in a mindless task while our unconscious mind deliberates before finally pointing out the optimal option for us. Subsequent research attempting to replicate this deliberation-without-attention effect, however, provided mitigated support for its existence. The present research had two objectives. First, it aimed to improve the methodology used to test for this effect by using a choice task where attributes values were experimentally controlled. Secondly, it aimed to examine the effect of the format of presentation of the attribute values on choice quality. Participants were randomly assigned to one cell of a 2 (attribute value format) x 2 (deliberation type) design. Half of the participants received attribute values in a numerical format whereas the remaining half received them in a visual format. Within each of these conditions, half of the participants engaged in conscious deliberation before making their choice; the other half engaged unconscious deliberation. Results showed that conscious deliberation led to better decisions when the attribute values were presented in a numerical format whereas unconscious thought led to a better discrimination between products when cue values were presented in a visual format. Methodological and theoretical implications for testing the propositions of Unconscious Thought Theory will be discussed.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page