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ERIC Number: EJ945330
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Fast Similarities: Efficiency Advantages of Similarity-Focused Comparisons
Corcoran, Katja; Epstude, Kai; Damisch, Lysann; Mussweiler, Thomas
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n5 p1280-1286 Sep 2011
People constantly have to make efficient use of their limited cognitive resources. Recently, T. Mussweiler and K. Epstude (2009) demonstrated that comparative thinking simplifies information processing and increases the efficiency of judgment. However, there are different types of comparative thinking. While comparing 2 entities, people may focus on either similarities or dissimilarities between target and standard. The authors propose that these 2 comparative thinking styles differ in their efficiency. Specifically, the authors hypothesize that comparisons with a focus on similarities lead to more focused information processing and faster judgments than comparisons with a dissimilarity focus. In line with these hypotheses, the authors demonstrate that participants are indeed faster at judging the similarity of 2 stimuli (Study 1) and that they search for less target information in a comparative judgment task (Study 2) if they focus on similarities rather than dissimilarities. Focusing on similarities thus appears to be the more efficient comparative thinking style. (Contains 3 figures and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany