MAESTRO Grant awarded to prof. Małgorzata Kossowska by the National Centre for Science (2012-2017).


Marcin Bukowski (UJ), Katarzyna Jaśko (UJ), Aneta Czernatowicz-Kukuczka (UJ), Anna Czarna (UJ), Gabriela Czarnek (UJ), Piotr Dragon (UJ), Ewa Szumowska (UJ), Paulina Szwed (UJ), Maciej Sekerdej (UJ), Paweł Strojny (UJ), Agnieszka Strojny (UJ), Grzegorz Sędek (ICACS, SWPS), Klara Rydzewska (ICACS, SWPS).

About the grant

Our research program concerns the knowledge formation process informed by the theory of lay epistemic (Kruglanski, 1989). According to the theory, the construction of new knowledge is a persistent human activity. For activities ranging from the relatively simple and mundane to the highly complex, new knowledge is essential to assure confident decisions and reasoned actions. Given the ubiquity of knowledge formation concerns, and their essential psychological relevance to human thoughts, feelings, and actions, understanding how knowledge is formed and changed, was recognized as a task of considerable importance for psychological science. Thus, the general purpose of the present research program is to offer an integrative, unique approach to the work on epistemic process, affording a bird’s  eye perspective on knowledge formation processes; their motivational, affective, cognitive, and neurocognitive underpinnings, and their ramifications for a broad variety of social psychological phenomena: intrapersonal (e.g., decision making, ideological or religious beliefs), interpersonal (e.g. perspective taking), and intergroup (e.g., group centrism, outgroup derogation).

More precisely, the present project aims to clarify two crucial but hardly investigated issues in epistemic theory to reach an advanced model for the processes underlying knowledge formation in social domain. The first issue pertains to the integration of cognitive abilities (actual and perceived) to epistemic theory. In this line of research we plan to: (1) further explore the cognitive mechanisms of need for closure (related to cognitive inhibition and response control); (2) explore possible association of need for closure with individual differences in a basic neurocognitive mechanism involved broadly in self-regulation; (3) uncover the exact nature of perceived ability to achieve closure, the factor which in previous study consistently interacted with need for closure in predicting judgments and decision making. The second issue pertains to the role of distress in epistemic process. Finally, we suggest advanced model of epistemic process, predicting the role of personal (cognitive, motivational and affective) as well as contextual (e.g., positive affect, personal control, empowerment, level of expertise) components in it. We will apply this integrated model to explain such phenomena as ineffective decision making process and adherence to extreme ideological or religious convictions.

For broader description of the project in english click HERE.

For a description of the project in polish click HERE.

PhD theses
Klara Rydzewska (2017). The Influence of Aging on Sequential Decision Making: The Role of Cognitive and Motivational Factors. Supervisor: Grzegorz Sędek (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities), co-supervisor: Bettina von Helversen (University of Zurich)
Agnieszka Strojny (2017). Wnioskowanie o przyczynach zachowania: rola motywacji epistemicznej w kontekście Teorii energetyki poznawczej. Supervisor: Małgorzata Kossowska (Jagiellonian University)

Piotr Dragon (2015). The compensation effect in perception of groups: the role of epistemic motivation. Supervisor: Małgorzata Kossowska (Jagiellonian University), co-supervisor: Arie W. Kruglanski (University of Maryland)
Paweł Strojny (2015). Poznawcze źródła procesu nabywania wiedzy społecznej. Postrzegana zdolność w zakresie realizacji celów epistemicznych jako element procesu epistemicznego. Supervisor: Małgorzata Kossowska (Jagiellonian University)
  1. Sędek, G, Kossowska, M., & Rydzewska, K. (2014). The importance of adult life-span perspective in explaining variations in political ideology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, 330-331.
  2. Kossowska, M., Czarnek., G., Wronka, E., Wyczesny, M., & Bukowski, M. (2014). Individual differences in epistemic motivation and brain conflict monitoring activity. Neuroscience Letters, 570, 38-41.
  3. Czernatowicz – Kukuczka, A., Jaśko, K., & Kossowska, M. (2014). Need for closure and dealing with uncertainty in decision making context: The role of the behavioral inhibition system and working memory capacity. Personality & Individual Differences, 70, 126-130.
  4. Kossowska, M., Dragon, P., & Bukowski, M. (2015). When need for closure leads to positive attitudes towards a negatively stereotyped outgroup. Motivation & Emotion, 1, 88-98. 
  5. Roets, A., Kruglanski, A., Kossowska, M., Pierro, & A. Hong, Y. (2015) The Motivated Gatekeeper of Our Minds: New Directions in Need for Closure Theory and Research. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology52, 221-283.
  6. Kossowska, M., Czarnek, G., Wyczesany, M., Wronka, E., Szwed, P., & Bukowski, M. (2015). Electrocortical indices of attention correlate with the need for closure. NeuroReport: For Rapid Communication of Neuroscience Research, 26(5), 285–290.
  7. Czarnek, G., Kossowska, M., & Sedek, G. (2015). The influence of aging on outgroup stereotypes: The mediating role of cognitive and motivational facets of deficient flexibility. Experimental Aging Research, 41(3), 303–324.
  8. Kossowska, M., & Sekerdej, M. (2015). Searching for certainty: Religious beliefs and intolerance toward value-violating groups.Personality and Individual Differences, 83, 72–76.
  9. Jaśko, K., Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, A., Kossowska, M., & Czarna, A. (2015). Individual differences in response to uncertainty and decision making: the role of behavioral inhibition system and need for closure. Motivation & Emotion, 39(4), 541–552. 
  10. Kossowska, M., Guinote, A., & Strojny, P. (2016). Power Boosts Reliance on Preferred Processing Styles. ​Motivation & Emotion, 40, 556–565 DOI 10.1007/s11031-016-9548-8
  11. Strojny, P., Kossowska, M., & Strojny, A. (2016). Search for Expectancy-inconsistent Information Reduces Uncertainty Better: The Role of Cognitive Capacity. Frontiers in Psychology,
  12. Szumowska, E., & Kossowska, M. (2016). Need for Closure and Multitasking Performance: The Role of Shifting Ability. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 12-17.
  13. Kossowska, M., Bukowski, M., Guinote, A., Dragon, P., & Kruglanski, A.W. (2016) Self-image threat decreases stereotyping: The role of motivation toward closure Motivation & Emotion, 40, 830–841.
  14. Czarna,A., Jonason, P., Dufner, M., & Kossowska, M. (2016). The Dirty Dozen Scale: Validation of a Polish Version and Extension of the Nomological Net. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00445
  15. Kossowska, M., Szwed, P., Wronka, E., Czarnek, G., & Wyczesany, M. (2016).  Anxiolytic function of fundamentalist beliefs: Neurocognitive evidence. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 390–395 .
  16. Kossowska, M., Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, A., Szumowska, E., & Czarna, A. (2016). Cortisol and moral decisions among young men: The moderating role of motivation toward closure. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 249–253.
  17. Kossowska, M., Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, A., & Sekerdej, M. (2017). Many faces of dogmatism: Prejudice as a way of protecting certainty against value-violators among dogmatic believers and atheists. British Journal of Psychology, 08, 127–147.  DOI:10.1111/bjop.12186
  18. Szumowska, E., & Kossowska, M. (2017). Motivational rigidity enhances multitasking performance: The role of handling interruptions. Personality and Individual Differences 106, 81–89.
  19. Sankaran, S., Grzymala-Moszczynska, J., Strojny, A., Strojny, P., & Kossowska, M. (2017). Rising up to the ‘challenge’? The role of need for closure and situational appraisals in creative performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 106, 136–145.
  20. Sankaran, S., Szumowska, E., Kossowska, M. (2017). When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Motivation towards closure and effort investment in the performance of cognitive tasks. Motivation & Emotion.​ doi: 10.1007/s11031-017-9613-y
  21. Sekerdej, M., Kossowska, M., & Czernatowicz – Kukuczka, A. (in press). Uncertainty and Prejudice: The Role of Religiosity in Shaping Group Attitudes. European Journal of Social Psychology.
  22. Szwed, P., Szumowska, E., Kossowska, M., & Wright, R. (in press). Multifaceted Effects of Need for Cognitive Closure on Effort: A Cardiovascular Response Study. Motivation Science.
  23. Szumowska, E., & Kossowska, M. (2017). Need for cognitive closure and attention allocation during multitasking: Evidence from eye-tracking studies. Personality and Individual Differences, 111, 272–280.
  24. Marchlewska, M., Cichocka, A., & Kossowska, M. (in press). Addicted to answers: Need for cognitive closure and the endorsement of conspiracy theories. European Journal of Social Psychology.
Chapters of books
  1. Kossowska, M., Hanusz, K., & Trejtowicz, M. (2014). A Short Version of the Need for Closure Scale: Item selection and scale validation. In: T. Marek, W. Karwowski, M., Frankowicz, J. Kantol, P. Zgaga. (eds.). Human Factors of a Global Society: A System of Systems Perspective (pp. 285-298). Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
  2. Kossowska, M. & Bukowski, M. (2015). Motivated Roots of Conspiracies: The Role of Certainty and Control Motives in Conspiracy Thinking. In: M. Bilewicz, A. Cichocka, W. Soral (eds.). Psychology of conspiracy (145-162).  New York,Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
  3. Kossowska, M. & Sekerdej, M. (2016). Psychologia społeczna: Idea i eksperyment. W: M. Kielar Turska (red.). W stronę psychologii eksperymentalnej: W 110. rocznicę założenia Pracowni Psychologii Doświadczalnej na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim (str. 61-76). Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.
  4. Kossowska, M. (2017). Threat Perception. In: Paul Joseph (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of War: Social Science Perspectives (pp. 1699-1701), Thousand Oaks, SAGE Publications, Inc. DOI: Kossowska, M., Bukowski, M. & Sankaran, S. (2017). Ironic effects od need for closure on closed minded processing mode: The role of perceived control over reducing uncertainty. In: M. Bukowski, I. Fritsche, A. Guinote and M. Kofta  (Eds). Coping with lack of control in a social world (pp. 49-61). London & New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.