Using a method of monitoring information acquisition, 76 subjects were instructed to simulate the information search process in which they selected a behavior from available behavioral alternatives which were expected to occur in a situation where donating behavior was needed. In order to measure the cognitive changes, they were asked to rate the importance of behavioral attributes both before and after the decision task. After the decision task, they were asked to rate the inner states. (1) Defensive cognitive changes were found which increased the importance of behavioral costs and decreased the importance of personal moral obligation feelings. This pattern of changes was consistent with the Schwartz & Howard model (1981, 1982, 1984). (2) The defensive cognitive changes were related to the information search strategies. This pattern of relationship partly confirmed the prediction derived from the Schwartz & Howard model (1981, 1982, 1984). (3) The result that the cognitive changes were not related to the inner states was inconsistent with the model of either Piliavin, Dovidio, Gaertner, & Clark (1981, 1982) or Schwartz & Howard (1981, 1982, 1984). An alternative model was proposed and discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas