The heuristic-based framework for attitude certainty: How technology and the attention economy are systematically eroding systematic thinking

Peter J. Brown, Mario G. Beruvides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article introduces the phenomenon of heuristic-based certainty within the digital native demographic and discusses implications for theory and practice including preparing leaders in the psychology field to build and manage digitally enabled cultures. The persistent, pervasive priming and commoditization of personal time and relevance within the attention economy have created the perception of a decision-making environment of perpetually high cognitive loading and decreased motivation. As a result, objective, independent assessment and deliberate reasoning have given way to ideological, collectively validated, ephemeral decisions. The present research describes a new framework for understanding the development of attitude certainty among digital natives. Data indicate that this demographic is substituting heuristic judgments for systematic appraisals of certainty with notable frequency, providing strong evidence of an aversion to systematic decisions. The heuristic-based framework for attitude certainty extends current theory and synthesizes multidisciplinary research to explicate these decision patterns and strategies. Appreciating its foundations will facilitate deliberate, potential, and practical strategies for structured responses in interpersonal and team settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-94
Number of pages19
JournalPsychologist-Manager Journal
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Attention economy
  • Attitude certainty
  • Digital natives
  • Heuristics

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