What is it about?

People regularly think based on spoken or written information. We find that the modality in which people encounter information influences their thinking. Spoken information prompts more intuitive solutions, whereas written information leads to more analytic ones.

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Why is it important?

Our findings have implications for theories of thinking and decision-making, which implicitly assume that thought is independent of modality. We show that modality can influence thinking. Our results also have implications for different domains such as science, law, medicine, and business. For instance, results of opinion polls might depend on whether the questions are read or heard, and judges may react more intuitively to a spoken than a written brief.


When I did the research, I realized that it might make a difference how I get my news. Is it possible that listening to the news makes me less critical than reading it?

Dr. Janet Geipel

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Listening speaks to our intuition while reading promotes analytic thought., Journal of Experimental Psychology General, April 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/xge0001316.
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