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Selecting decision strategies: the differential role of affect


Scheibehenne, Benjamin; von Helversen, Bettina (2015). Selecting decision strategies: the differential role of affect. Cognition and Emotion, 29(1):158-167.

Abstract

Many theories on cognition assume that people adapt their decision strategies depending on the situation they face. To test if and how affect guides the selection of decision strategies, we conducted an online study (N = 166), where different mood states were induced through video clips. Results indicate that mood influenced the use of decision strategies. Negative mood, in particular anger, facilitated the use of non-compensatory strategies, whereas positive mood promoted compensatory decision rules. These results are in line with the idea that positive mood broadens the focus of attention and thus increases the use of compensatory decision strategies that take many pieces of information into account, whereas negative mood narrows the focus of attention and thus fosters non-compensatory strategies that rely on a selective use of information. The results further indicate that gaining a deeper theoretical understanding of the cognitive mechanisms that govern decision processes requires taking emotions into account.

Abstract

Many theories on cognition assume that people adapt their decision strategies depending on the situation they face. To test if and how affect guides the selection of decision strategies, we conducted an online study (N = 166), where different mood states were induced through video clips. Results indicate that mood influenced the use of decision strategies. Negative mood, in particular anger, facilitated the use of non-compensatory strategies, whereas positive mood promoted compensatory decision rules. These results are in line with the idea that positive mood broadens the focus of attention and thus increases the use of compensatory decision strategies that take many pieces of information into account, whereas negative mood narrows the focus of attention and thus fosters non-compensatory strategies that rely on a selective use of information. The results further indicate that gaining a deeper theoretical understanding of the cognitive mechanisms that govern decision processes requires taking emotions into account.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 10:07
Last Modified:03 Mar 2017 10:07
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0269-9931
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2014.896318
PubMed ID:24625257

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