Dogmatism and the Need for Closure
- Amber M. GaffneyAmber M. GaffneyHumboldt State University, Department of Psychology
- and Natasha La VogueNatasha La VogueHumboldt State University, Department of Psychology
Research and both applications of theories of dogmatism and the need for closure implicate the importance of closed belief systems in cognition, social interactions, and decision-making. Research traditionally examines dogmatism as a personality trait wherein people vary in the extent to which they actively justify and maintain their closed belief systems through ideological rigidity. The need for cognitive closure is a related concept, but research and theorizing in this area provides an account of an epistemic motivation to obtain knowledge and answers rapidly—to find information quickly and hold fast to the conclusions drawn from that information. Research on both dogmatism and the need for cognition hold significant implications for and applications to political decision-making and ideology, in-group favoritism and out-group derogation, and resistance to change.