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Gut thinking and eye tracking: Evidence for a central preference heuristicPeople prefer the central item in an array of items. This could be due to applying a decision heuristic or greater visual attention to the central item. We manipulated task instructions as participants chose one from three consumer items. The instructions were to “think carefully” in one block and to “use gut feeling” in another. A centrality preference appeared only in the “gut” condition, which was also negatively correlated with self-reported reflective thinking disposition (Need-for-Cognition). Eye-movement patterns, however, were equivalent across both instruction conditions with more frequent and longer fixations on the middle items. The findings demonstrate an effect of instructions on the centrality preference for non-identical consumer items, and provide evidence for a heuristic cause of the centrality preference rather than the allocation of visual attention. The results also show that the centrality preference is more likely to be present when people choose quickly and intuitively.
Valence of agents and recipients moderates the side-effect effect: Two within-subjects, multi-item conceptual replicationsThe side-effect effect (SEE) demonstrates that the valence of an unintended side effect influences intentionality judgements; people assess harmful (helpful) side effects as (un)intentional. Some evidence suggests that the SEE can be moderated by factors relating to the side effect’s causal agent and to its recipient. However, these findings are often derived from between-subjects studies with a single or few items, limiting generalisability. Our two within-subjects experiments utilised multiple items and successfully conceptually replicated these patterns of findings. Cumulative link mixed models showed the valence of both the agent and the recipient moderated intentionality and accountability ratings. This supports the view that people represent and consider multiple factors of a SEE scenario when judging intentionality. Importantly, it also demonstrates the applicability of multi-vignette, within-subjects approaches for generalising the effect to the wider population, within individuals, and to a multitude of potential scenarios. For open materials, data, and code, see https://www.doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/5MGKN.