College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ralph Erber, PhD

Second Advisor

Kim Quinn, PhD

Third Advisor

Verena Graupmann, PhD


In this dissertation, I propose that thinking style and cognitive load are associated with information-processing. Analytic thinkers focus on focal objects, whereas holistic thinkers focus on the relation between focal objects and peripheral objects. In addition, cognitive load also increases people’s heuristic use in information-processing. Across two studies, I investigated the relationship between thinking style and information-processing, moderated by time pressure (Study 1) or accuracy motivation (Study 2). Results showed opposite patterns of what past literature has demonstrated. Relatively holistic thinkers were less likely to search for additional suspect cues with higher levels of confidence compared to relatively analytic thinkers. Cognitive load motivated information seeking but decreased levels of confidence. Together, these studies create a mixed relationship among thinking style, cognitive load, and information-processing, implying that individual and cultural differences in information-processing might depend on the type of decision-making.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons