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Dogmatism manifests in lowered information search under uncertainty

Schulz, L; Rollwage, M; Dolan, RJ; Fleming, SM; (2020) Dogmatism manifests in lowered information search under uncertainty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 10.1073/pnas.2009641117. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

When knowledge is scarce, it is adaptive to seek further information to resolve uncertainty and obtain a more accurate worldview. Biases in such information-seeking behavior can contribute to the maintenance of inaccurate views. Here, we investigate whether predispositions for uncertainty-guided information seeking relate to individual differences in dogmatism, a phenomenon linked to entrenched beliefs in political, scientific, and religious discourse. We addressed this question in a perceptual decision-making task, allowing us to rule out motivational factors and isolate the role of uncertainty. In two independent general population samples (n = 370 and n = 364), we show that more dogmatic participants are less likely to seek out new information to refine an initial perceptual decision, leading to a reduction in overall belief accuracy despite similar initial decision performance. Trial-by-trial modeling revealed that dogmatic participants placed less reliance on internal signals of uncertainty (confidence) to guide information search, rendering them less likely to seek additional information to update beliefs derived from weak or uncertain initial evidence. Together, our results highlight a cognitive mechanism that may contribute to the formation of dogmatic worldviews.

Type: Article
Title: Dogmatism manifests in lowered information search under uncertainty
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2009641117
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009641117
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: computational modeling, dogmatism, information search, metacognition, politics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115867
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