BIS/BAS, Need for Cognition, and the Framing Effect

Olivia Aspiras, The College of Wooster


The purpose of this study was to examine how personality traits interact with the framing effect to promote better studying habits among college students. Participants (N = 73) completed the Need for Cognition (Caccioppo & Petty, 1982) and the BIS/BAS scales (Carver & White, 1994) and then read either a positively or negatively framed article about the importance of reading before class. Participants then completed the Intention to Read Questionnaire to measure the effect of the article on future intentions to read before class. Results showed no significant framing effect. However, participants high on Need for Cognition (NFC) recalled significantly more of the reasons to read before from either article than those with low NFC. Participants categorized as the BIS with a high NFC had significantly greater intentions to read before class after reading either article. Several other consistent patterns indicated that participants categorized as the BIS had better studying habits prior to reading the article and also intended to read more in the future after reading the article than those grouped as the BAS. Finally, participants overall reported that they intend to read more often before class than they currently do after reading either article. These findings can be used to discover how to successfully encourage better studying habits among college students based on their personality.