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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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Escape Decision-Making Based on Intuition and Deliberation under Simple and Complex Judgment and Decision Conditions
LI Hong;CHEN Shi;NI Shiguang
(Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China)
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Abstract  The purpose of the present study was to explore and compare the effects of intuition and deliberation in escape decision-making under emergency conditions. We adopted Dijksterhuis et al.’s (2006) Unconscious Thinking Theory (UTT) to explain the effects of intuition and deliberation under emergency. We also attempted to extend the use of UTT in emergency situations. According to Dijksterhuis et al. (2006), whether unconscious thought or conscious thought would yield better decisions depends on the complexity of the situation. However, we have noticed that for Dijksterhuis et al., the complexity of the situation only meant the complexity of judgment rather than the decision task, and the situation was limited to daily decision-making. In the present study, we further differentiated the complexity of decision conditions into the complexities of judgment references and decision tasks based on UTT, and attempted to examine the effects of intuition and deliberation when the complexities of judgment references and the decision tasks were both different under emergency. Dijksterhuis et al. (2006) demonstrated that conscious thought was better in making the best choice among simple conditions, whereas unconscious thought was better in making the best choice among complex conditions. Although unconscious thought is not the same as intuition, they are both unconscious processing. The difference is that intuition appears immediately, but unconscious thought needs time. Deliberation could be same as conscious thought. So it is comparable between unconscious and conscious thought, and intuition and deliberation. Accordingly, our main hypotheses were established based on UTT. Hypothesis one was that the effect of deliberation was better than that of intuition under simple judgment reference and simple decision task condition. Hypothesis two was that the effect of intuition was better than that of deliberation under complex judgment reference and complex decision task conditions. The study consisted of two main experiments and two preliminary experiments. We recruited 85 and 87 participants for experiments 1 and 2 respectively. A 2 (mode of thought: intuition and deliberation) × 2 (complexity of judgment reference: simple and complex) between-group design was adopted. The dependent variable for experiment 1 was simple escape decision task which was shown directly (simple style), and the dependent variable for experiment 2 was complex escape decision task, which was presented indirectly (complex style). The main findings were: (1) There were no significant differences in escape decision-making between intuition and deliberation under simple judgment reference and simple decision task condition, as well as under complex judgment reference and simple decision task condition. (2) Deliberation was better in making good decisions than intuition under simple judgment reference and complex decision task condition. (3) Intuition was better in making good decisions than deliberation under complex judgment reference and complex decision task condition. In conclusion: UTT was not supported in simple escape decision task condition, but it was supported in complex escape decision task condition. In other words, whether the UTT is able to or not to explain the effects of intuition and deliberation in emergency setting depends on what the decision task is.
Keywords escape decision-making      intuition      deliberation      emergency     
Corresponding Authors: LI Hong   
Issue Date: 25 January 2013
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LI Hong
CHEN Shi
NI Shiguang
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LI Hong,CHEN Shi,NI Shiguang. Escape Decision-Making Based on Intuition and Deliberation under Simple and Complex Judgment and Decision Conditions[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00094
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00094     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2013/V45/I1/94
[1] LI Hong;GAO Yang. Escape Decision-Making under Real Fire and Simulated Fire Conditions[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2013, 45(9): 993-1003.
[2] GUO Xiu-Yan,JIANG Shan,LING Xiao-Li,ZHU Lei,TANG Jing-Hua. Specific Contribution of Intuition to Implicit Learning Superiority[J]. , 2011, 43(09): 977-982.
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