## The self-regulation of information processing and decision making

2015
Dissertation
##### Abstract
The present thesis investigates whether people can strategically regulate their information processing (Research Papers I and II), and the effects of strategic information processing on decision making (Research Paper III). These topics are addressed from the perspective of the self-regulation strategy of if-then planning (also referred to as implementation intentions).

The first research paper tested the hypothesis that if-then planning enhances perceptual processing. Two experiments were based on a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm and showed an underadditive interaction effect of if-then planning and stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), suggesting that making if-then plans indeed enhances perceptual processing. The third experiment used an additive factors logic and supported this conclusion by showing an interaction effect of if-then planning and stimulus brightness. Taken together, Research Paper I suggests that if-then planning enables people to strategically regulate perceptual information processing.

While the first research paper focused on perceptual processing, the second research paper scrutinized if-then planning effects in a more comprehensive manner. Across three Eriksen flanker task experiments, participants were faster in classifying a central target stimulus when they planned their response to this stimulus in an if-then plan, without a drop in accuracy. Fitting these data with the dual-stage two-phase (DSTP) sequential sampling model revealed increased drift rates for stimuli specified in an if-then plan compared to non-planned stimuli during early stimulus and response selection (Experiment 1), and additional increases during late stimulus and response selection when the task entailed response conflict (Experiment 3). This pattern of findings expands those obtained in the first research paper, indicating that people can strategically regulate even how efficiently they process information when selective attention is required.

Finally, the third research paper investigated how self-regulated information processing affects decision making in an ultimatum game paradigm. Participants planned to adopt an intuitive or a reflective mode of processing, or made no such plans in a control condition, before deciding to accept or reject a series of 10 ultimatum offers including very low (unfair) ones. Participants adopting a reflective mode of processing were more likely to accept unfair offers than those adopting an intuitive mode. This effect was further moderated by participants' social value orientation (SVO), a simple measure of prosociality that we had assessed prior to the experiment: Prosocials were much less likely to accept unfair offers than selfish people when they adopted an intuitive mode of processing, whereas no such difference evinced in the reflective condition.

Taken together, the findings of these three research papers converge to the conclusion that people can strategically regulate how they process information in a way that affects their subsequent decisions. Besides its implications for research on the self-regulation strategy of if-then planning, the present thesis provides novel perspectives on human information processing and decision making, conceiving of them as a matter of strategic regulation.
150 Psychology
##### Cite This
ISO 690BIELEKE, Maik, 2015. The self-regulation of information processing and decision making [Dissertation]. Konstanz: University of Konstanz
BibTex
@phdthesis{Bieleke2015selfr-31888,
year={2015},
title={The self-regulation of information processing and decision making},
author={Bieleke, Maik},
school={Universität Konstanz}
}

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##### Examination date of dissertation
September 21, 2015
##### University note
Konstanz, Univ., Doctoral dissertation, 2015
Yes