Abstract The present article analyzed, how need for cognition (NFC) influences the formation of performance expectancies. When processing information, individuals with lower NFC often rely on salient information and shortcuts compared to individuals higher in NFC. We assume that these preferences of processing will also make individuals low in NFC more responsive to salient achievement-related cues because the processing of salient cues is cognitively less demanding than the processing of non-salient cues. Therefore, individuals lower in NFC should tend to draw wider ranging inferences from salient achievement-related information. In a sample of N = 197 secondary school students, achievement-related feedback (grade on an English examination) affected changes in expectancies in non-corresponding academic subjects (e.g., expectation of final grade in mathematics or history) when NFC was lower, whereas for students with higher NFC, changes in expectancies in non-corresponding academic subjects were not affected.