Mindsets and pre-conscious open-mindedness to incidental information

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Mindset theory (Gollwitzer, 1990) proposes that deliberative mindsets are marked by more open-minded processing of information, whereas implemental mindsets are characterized by more closed-minded processing. Accordingly, deliberative and implemental mindsets should differ in selective processing of incidental information when performing a central task. In three experiments, participants in deliberative and implemental mindsets performed a computer task while randomly presented incidental, unavoidable words. A subsequent recognition memory test assessed selective processing of these incidental words. Results revealed that deliberative mindsets led to superior recognition memory, suggesting increased open-mindedness to processing incidental information. Implications for mindset and goal theories are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-61
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Action phases
  • Mindsets
  • Selective information processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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