chapter  3
17 Pages

Three Decades of Need for Closure Research

About Epistemic Goals and (Not) Means
ByArne Roets

This chapter describes Arie Kruglanski's indispensable contribution to social psychology and addresses how his work on Need For Closure (NFC) has shed light on the underlying epistemic motivations that drive people in a broad diversity of everyday and not-so-everyday life. It argues that a focus on goals rather than means is crucial to a true understanding of NFC. Indeed, because the NFC theory is a framework for understanding the motivational aspects of human knowledge formation and decision making, it obviously also has broad applicability in other domains where judgment and decision making play a central role. From a NFC perspective, allocation of individuals to essentialized social categories is especially appealing because of its inductive potential. The chapter offers how essentialist categorization serves as a means to satisfy the desire for closure, yielding prejudice as a by-product. Roets and Van Hiel described two key mediating processe through which NFC is connected to prejudice: socio-ideological attitudes, and essentialist thinking.