The Role of the Need for Cognitive Closure in Implicit and Explicit Rule Learning
Sheveland, Anna Cecile
Kruglanski, Arie W
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Two studies investigated the role of the need for cognitive closure in implicit and explicit rule learning. I generally hypothesized the existence of a relationship between the need for closure (NFC) and the learning of rules moderated by the type of learning, implicit versus explicit, occurring (Hypothesis 1). More specifically, I predicted that high (vs. low) NFC would predict better performance on an explicit rule learning task (Hypothesis 2) but worse performance on an implicit rule learning task (Hypothesis 3). I tested these hypotheses both by measuring the NFC as a stable, dispositional trait variable (Study 1) and manipulating it as a transient state variable (Study 2). The findings of Study 1 provide support for Hypotheses 1 and 2 but not Hypothesis 3. The findings of Study 2 provide support for Hypothesis 3 but not Hypotheses 1 and 2.