Need for cognition in a Portuguese managers sample: Invariance across gender and professional activity.

The current organizational environment, characterized by uncertainty, requires the need for comprehending a complex set of variables and relations. Understanding, decision-making, and judging of information are daily processes that managers perform; these processes are often influenced by individual characteristics in terms of information processing. Among the several determining attributes of managers’ performance presented in the literature is the need for cognition. Despite its importance, studies with samples of Portuguese managers are still scarce, so that through a sample of 442 managers who are members of the executive body of Portuguese microenterprises, this study examined (a) the factor structure of the Need for Cognition Scale–18 items (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982), (b) the scale’s reliability, and (c) the invariance of its factor structure across gender and across professional activity (through a sample of nonmanagers, n = 344). Our analyses support a structure with three factors (Commitment of Cognitive Effort, Preference for Complexity, and Desire for Understanding), with good reliability and validity. The Scale showed variance between genders and between samples, which makes it less generalizable and more susceptible to population type. We also found significant differences in the levels of need for cognition between genders, in the factors Commitment of Cognitive Effort and Preference for Complexity. The sample of managers had significantly higher levels of need for cognition compared with the sample of nonmanagers. Collectively, these findings provide compelling evidence in support of the Need for Cognition Scale for managers and other professionals. However, more research is warranted to investigate the scale measurement invariance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)