Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Richard Sorrentino

Second Advisor

Dr. Bertram Gawronski


According to the theory of uncertainty orientation, individuals differ in the ways in which they resolve uncertainty. Specifically, uncertainty-oriented individuals (UOs) prefer to attain clarity while certainty-oriented individuals (COs) prefer to maintain clarity. To investigate the roles cognitive resources may play in the connection between one’s uncertainty orientation and information processing style, the present study showed that active self-regulation (i.e., systematic processing) lead to impaired performances on a subsequent executive attentional task. In this experiment, participants read a counterattitudinal article which varied in personal relevance and argument strength. Following this manipulation, participants’ performances on the Stroop colour-naming task were examined. As predicted, UOs who read the strong arguments under high personal relevance performed worse on the task than COs in the same conditions. COs who read the strong arguments processed more systematically as personal relevance decreased. Unexpected and interesting results were also obtained among those who processed the weak arguments.



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