The role of actively open-minded thinking in information acquisition, accuracy, and calibration

Uriel Haran, Ilana Ritov, Barbara A. Mellers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Errors in estimating and forecasting often result from the failure to collect and consider enough relevant information. We examine whether attributes associated with persistence in information acquisition can predict performance in an estimation task. We focus on actively open-minded thinking (AOT), need for cognition, grit, and the tendency to maximize or satisfice when making decisions. In three studies, participants made estimates and predictions of uncertain quantities, with varying levels of control over the amount of information they could collect before estimating. Only AOT predicted performance. This relationship was mediated by information acquisition: AOT predicted the tendency to collect information, and information acquisition predicted performance. To the extent that available information is predictive of future outcomes, actively open-minded thinkers are more likely than others to make accurate forecasts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2013


  • Actively open-minded thinking
  • Calibration
  • Forecasting
  • Individual differences
  • Overconfidence
  • Prediction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Psychology


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