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New findings on unconscious versus conscious thought in decision making

Keywords: unconscious thought , meta-analysis , normative decision making.NAKeywords

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Ninety-eight Australian students participated in a functional replication of a study published by Dijksterhuis et al. (2006). The results indicated that unconscious thought does not necessarily lead to better normative decision making performance than conscious thought, which is contrary to the results found in Dijksterhuis et al. Since other studies showed a positive, though statistically not significant, effect for unconscious thought, a meta-analysis comprising a total of 17 experiments was conducted. It suggests that there is little evidence for an advantage to normative decision making using unconscious thought. However, a discussion of potential moderators shows that further study would help to identify situations in which unconscious thought is truly helpful and those in which it is not.


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