On incidental catalysts of elaboration: Reminders of environmental structure promote effortful thought


Journal Article

© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Life is filled with situations in which cognitive elaboration can powerfully sway outcomes, and yet our understanding of the contextual factors that impact elaboration are greatly limited to those entwined with the focal evaluation, judgment, or decision. In response, this research tests whether a more fundamental, incidental feature of the environment-structure-might influence the extent to which individuals engage in elaboration. Three studies demonstrate that incidental reminders of structure increase elaboration (Experiment 1), which in turn impacts individuals' confidence in their choice (Experiment 2) as well as the choice itself (Experiment 3). Collectively, the findings offer novel insight into the role of structure in promoting elaboration, and suggest that structure-seeking may be functional in part because it leads to more thoughtful, considered judgments and decisions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rahinel, R; Amaral, NB; Clarkson, JJ; Kay, AC

Published Date

  • May 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 7

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0465

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1031

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.01.001

Citation Source

  • Scopus