In doubt and disorderly: Ambivalence promotes compensatory perceptions of order.

Recently, a paper in collaboration with Dr. Frenk van Harreveld and others has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Psychology : General.

Read the abstract below:

van Harreveld, F., Rutjens, B.T., Schneider, I.K., Nohlen, H. & Keskinis, K. (accepted for publication). In doubt and disorderly: Ambivalence promotes compensatory perceptions of order. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 

Ambivalence is a presumably unpleasant experience and coming to terms with it is an intricate part of human existence. It is argued that ambivalent attitude holders cope with their ambivalence through compensatory perceptions of order. We will first show that ambivalence leads to an increase in (visual) perceptions of order (Study 1). In Study 2 we conceptually replicate this finding by showing that ambivalence also increases belief in conspiracy theories, a cognitive form of order perception. Furthermore, this effect is mediated by the negative emotions that are elicited by ambivalence. In Study 3 we show that increased need for order is driving these effects: affirmations of order cancel out the effect of ambivalence on perceptions of order. Theoretical as well as societal implications are discussed.


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