Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Dr. Richard Sorrentino

Abstract

The moderating effects of embodied cognition and uncertainty orientation were examined in relation to the confirmation bias. Specifically, the alternate movement of both hands palms up, which often accompanies the expression “on the one hand, and on the other” relating to the weighing of an argument, was manipulated. Uncertainty orientation distinguishes between people who are uncertainty-oriented (UOs), that confront uncertainty with the intention of resolving it; and people who are oriented toward certainty (COs), in that they attempt to maintain certainty, by creating a predictable environment. Significant interactions were found between uncertainty orientation and the embodiment manipulations for selective exposure, biased reasoning, and a disconfirmation bias, while uncertainty orientation moderated the effects of attitude polarization. Further examination revealed that the embodiment manipulation had a significant effect on UOs, whereby they increased their search for incongruent information and rated information less biasedly, and this difference was greater than for COs.


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