Article | Social Psychological & Personality Science | 2014

Thought Calibration: How Thinking Just the Right Amount Increases One’s Influence and Appeal

by Daniella Kupor, Zakary L. Tormala, Michael I. Norton and Derek D. Rucker

Abstract

Previous research suggests that people draw inferences about their attitudes and preferences based on their own thoughtfulness. The current research explores how observing other individuals make decisions more or less thoughtfully can shape perceptions of those individuals and their decisions, and ultimately impact observers' willingness to be influenced by them. Three studies suggest that observing others make more (versus less) thoughtful decisions generates more positive reactions when a choice is difficult, but more negative reactions when a choice is easy. In essence, people perceive the quality of others' decisions to be greater when other individuals engage in the right amount of thinking for the situation. These assessments then affect observers' own decisions and openness to influence.

Keywords: thoughtfulness; attitudes; liking; social influence; Decisions; Attitudes; Cognition and Thinking; Power and Influence;

Citation:

Kupor, Daniella, Zakary L. Tormala, Michael I. Norton, and Derek D. Rucker. "Thought Calibration: How Thinking Just the Right Amount Increases One’s Influence and Appeal." Social Psychological & Personality Science 5, no. 3 (April 2014): 263–270.