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Let’s get to know about the term ‘need for cognitive closure’ or NFC. In psychology, this term can explained the reason why each person has differences in drawing a conclusion.

NFC or ‘need for cognitive closure’ can be explained as a natural need for individuals to reach conclusion or a quick truth in making decisions. The level or value of NFC can be different for each person, some are high and some are low. Those with high NFC value, tend to be quicker to draw conclusions and have difficulty accepting ambiguous conditions. They will refuse to be in uncertain conditions. This thing will forms an individual’s thinking pattern to become rigid; making him less receptive to existing information. High NFC makes individuals focus on evidence of stereotypes and not on actual information. This is made worse by the tendency to judge on first impressions so that it becomes excessively biased. In these conditions, individuals will easily judge other people.

Meanwhile, those with low NFC value have a tendency to think openly and feel relatively comfortable when there are several alternative answers. An open-minded person will feel comfortable enough to park their old knowledge for a moment and make room for new knowledge. The implication of low NFC is that someone who is open minded has a higher motivation to search for and process new information, including constructing alternative explanations. They are also more resilient to other people’s persuasion and be careful of forming first impressions based on stereotypes.

It can be simplified that those with high NFC value tend to see things as black and white, while those with low NFC value can perceive relatively grayer areas. The difference in NFC levels is what causes conflicts of values, identity, and reality to occur between humans.

Then, what factors that can influences a person’s NFC?

Apart from the tendency of internal factors in responding to uncertainty, external factors also influence a person’s NFC. For example, when someone is in close-minded society, then he/she decides to be open-minded, he/she will experience unpleasant or uncomfortable situation and conditions. However, these conditions will be more favorable when he/she is closed-minded.

Then, social cost. This factor can also be a factor in person’s NFC value. For those whose NFC value is low, when the environment supports open-mindedness, there are no social cost incurred. Meanwhile, for those whose NFC value is high, it could be that the supportive situation around them makes the social costs of being open-minded very high.

This knowledge makes us think and understand further the reasons why people make different decisions. Beside that, it make us not justify someone’s NFC differences, but instead empathize. It could be that unfavorable environmental conditions make them unable to reduce NFC and only with high NFC they can grow and survive in the environment.

Translator: Ratna Safitri
: Maulady Virdausy Fahmy
Editor: Dewanti Nurcahyani

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