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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Expertise groups Experimental Psychology

Unconscious thought and decision making

Experimental Psychology, Psychometrics and Statistics

In this project, we examine whether momentary distraction may benefit the ability to make a difficult judgment or choice. If such a benefit were to exist, this would be of interest both theoretically and practically. However, thus far, the evidence for a benefit of distraction is scarce, with many studies presenting conflicting results. Using behavioral methods and meta-analyses, we examine the existence of this effect in various types of judgment and decision-making tasks.

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology
Partners outside of the University of Groningen
  • David Shanks, University College London


Courses connected to this project
  • Research practicum, PSBE2-09.2016-2017
  • Onderzoekspracticum, PSBA2-09.2016-2017
Selection of BA and MA student projects
  • - A meta-analysis of unconscious thought effects: Immediate choice vs. choice after distraction
Other remarks on education
  • Literature Study, PSB3E-LT, Book: Thinking and Deciding, Author: Jonathan Baron


  • Nieuwenstein, M.R., Wierenga, H.T.C., Morey, R.D., Wicherts, J.M., Blom, T.N., Wagenmakers, E.J., & Van Rijn, H. (2015). On making the right choice: A meta-analysis and large-scale replication attempt of the unconscious thought advantage. Judgment and Decision Making, 10, 1-17.
  • Nieuwenstein, M.R., & Van Rijn, H. (2012). The unconscious thought advantage: Further replication failures from a search for confirmatory evidence. Judgment and Decision Making, 7, 779-798.
Last modified:04 November 2019 5.16 p.m.
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