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In psycotherapy and counseling, '''closure''' may refer to the state of experiencing an [[emotion]]al conclusion to a difficult life event, such as the breakdown of a close [[interpersonal relationship]] or the death of loved one. People may behave in a certain way or perform certain rituals to help "bring closure" following such events. In many other cases, "closure" may only come about through the passage of time (as in "time heals all wounds").
The term '''cognitive closure''' has been defined as "a desire for definite [[knowledge]] on some issue and the eschewal of confusion and ambiguity."<ref name=webster1997>{{Cite journal
| issn = 1479-277X
| volume = 18
| pages = 133–173
| last = Webster
| first = Donna M.
| coauthors = Arie W. Kruglanski
| title = Cognitive and Social Consequences of the Need for Cognitive Closure
| journal = European Review of Social Psychology
| date = 1997
}}</ref> '''[[Need for closure]]''' is a phrase used by psychologists<!-- Eg. Webster, Kruglanski, Van Hiel, Neuberg papers --> to describe an individual’s desire for a firm solution as opposed to enduring ambiguity.
==Need For Closure Scale (NFCS)==
The [[need for closure]] varies across individuals, situations, and cultures. A person with a high need for closure prefers order and predictability and is decisive and close minded. This person also feels discomfort from ambiguity.<ref>Van Hiel, A., Mervielde, I. (2003) The Need for closure and the Spontaneous Use of Complex and Simple Cognitive Structures. ''The Journal of Social Psychology'', 14, 559-568.</ref> Someone rating low on need for closure will express more ideational fluidity and emit more creative acts.<ref name=Chirumbolo2004>Chirumbolo, A., Livi, S., Mannetti, L., Pierro, A., Kruglanski, A. (2004) Effects of Need for Closure on Creativity in Small Group Interactions. ''European Journal of Personality'', 18, 265-278.</ref>
The Need for Closure Scale (NFCS) was developed by Arie Kruglanski, Donna Webster, and Adena Klem in 1993. Items on the scale include statements such as “I think that having clear rules and order at work is essential to success.” and “I do not like situations that are uncertain”. Items such as “Even after I’ve made up my mind about something, I am always eager to consider a different opinion.” and “I like to have friends who are unpredictable” are reversed scored.<ref name=Kruglanski1993>Kruglanski, A. W., Webster, D. M., & Klem, A. (1993). Motivated resistance and openness to persuasion in the presence or absence of prior information. ''Journal of Personality and Social Psychology'', 65, 861-876.</ref> This scale is composed of 42 items and has been used in numerous research studies and has been translated into multiple languages. In 2007, Roets and Van Hiel revised the scale to resolve the psychometric problems and obtain a stable, one-dimensional scale.<ref>Roets, A., & Van Hiel, A. (2007). Separating ability from need: Clarifying the dimensional structure of the need for closure scale. ''Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33'', 266-280.</ref>
The Need for Closure [[Scale (social sciences)|Scale]] exhibits low to moderate association with the following: “[[authoritarianism]], intolerance of ambiguity, [[dogmatism]], need for [[cognition]], cognitive complexity, [[impulse (psychology)|impulsivity]], need for [[structure]], and fear of invalidity, while retaining considerable distinctiveness from those various [[construct]]s”.<ref name=kruglanski1994>Webster, D., Kruglanski, A. (1994) Individual differences in need for cognitive closure. ''Journal of Personality and Social Psychology'', 67, 1049-1062</ref>. It does not appear to be related with the intelligence level nor social desirability concerns.
Individuals scoring high on need for closure are likely to quickly grasp closure by relying on early cues and the first answer they come across.<ref name=Chirumbolo2004/> The need for closure is also said to lead to a very narrow information search and a higher tendency to use cognitive [[heuristic]]s when it comes to finding a solution to a question (Van Hiel and Mervielde, 2003).
In studies on [[creativity]], individuals rating low on need for closure produced a larger frequency of novel solutions that motivated and inspired others in their group. Low need for closure members were more productive and outcomes of projects were rated as more creative.<ref name=Chirumbolo2004/>
Some researchers have reached the conclusion that a desire for simple structure is the true cause of cognitive closure.<ref name=Neuberg1997>Neuberg, S., Judice, T., & West, S (1997). What the need for Closure Scale measures and what it does not: Toward differentiating among related epistemic motives. ''Journal of Personality and Social Psychology'', 72, 1396-1412.</ref> Others predict that [[stressor]]s such as time pressure lead to a tendency to stick with a given [[strategy]] because of a heightened need for closure.<ref name=webster1997/>
== See also ==
== External links ==
*[ Robert Fulford's column about the word "closure"]
*[ Comments on the Concept of Closure]
*[ Sensation and Perception]
*[ Gestalt Therapy / Gestalt Psychology]
*[ Sorrow and Closure]
{{enWP|Closure (psychology)}}

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