Closure (psychology) - Implications of Need For Cognitive Closure

Implications of Need For Cognitive Closure

A need for cognitive closure may occur while engaged in goal-driven or goal-motivated cognitive functions (e.g., attention control, memory recall, information selection and processing, cognitive inhibition, etc.). Ideally we would hope that most people will attempt to acquire new knowledge they hope will satisfy questions regarding particular issues (specific cognitive closure) irrespective of whether that knowledge points to a conclusion having positive or negative implications for them (non-specific cognitive closure). But because urgency and permanence are central to the motivational core of this overall process, individuals (or groups) may be compelled, consciously or unconsciously, to obtain information prematurely and irrespective of content.

It is of concern then that causal and motivational mechanisms driving the process of cognitive closure may sometimes invite bias in: 1) selecting the most relevant information one should attend to for increasing chances of adaptation; 2) initiating and sustaining cognitive manipulations that are required to achieve particular outcomes; 3) making judgments and assessments of input information; and 4) weighing information during the course of decision-making.

Additionally, and especially in those with strong needs for certainty (as measured on NFC Scale), the impulse to achieve cognitive closure may sometimes produce or evoke a mood instability, and/or truncated perceptions of one's available behavioral choices, should some newly acquired information challenge preconceptions that they had long considered to be certain, permanent and inviolate e.g. certain religious or ethical views and values.

Thus it is apparent that the need for cognitive closure may have important implications for both personal and inter-personal thoughts and actions, including some related to educational processes and school learning.

Read more about this topic:  Closure (psychology)

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