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Change and status quo in decisions with defaults: The effect of incidental emotions depends on the type of default


Shevchenko, Yury; von Helversen, Bettina; Scheibehenne, Benjamin (2014). Change and status quo in decisions with defaults: The effect of incidental emotions depends on the type of default. Judgment and Decision Making, 9(3):287-296.

Abstract

Affective states can change how people react to measures aimed at influencing their decisions such as providing a default option. Previous research has shown that when defaults maintain the status quo positive mood increases reliance on the default and negative mood decreases it. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that positive mood enhances the preference for inaction. We extend this research by investigating how mood states influence reliance on the default if the default leads to a change, thus pitting preference for status quo against a preference for inaction. Specifically, we tested in an online study how happiness and sadness influenced reliance on two types of default (1) a default maintaining status quo and (2) a default inducing change. Our results suggest that the effect of emotions depends on the type of default: people in a happy mood were more likely than sad people to follow a default when it maintained status quo but less likely to follow a default when it introduced change. These results are in line with mood maintenance theory.

Abstract

Affective states can change how people react to measures aimed at influencing their decisions such as providing a default option. Previous research has shown that when defaults maintain the status quo positive mood increases reliance on the default and negative mood decreases it. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that positive mood enhances the preference for inaction. We extend this research by investigating how mood states influence reliance on the default if the default leads to a change, thus pitting preference for status quo against a preference for inaction. Specifically, we tested in an online study how happiness and sadness influenced reliance on two types of default (1) a default maintaining status quo and (2) a default inducing change. Our results suggest that the effect of emotions depends on the type of default: people in a happy mood were more likely than sad people to follow a default when it maintained status quo but less likely to follow a default when it introduced change. These results are in line with mood maintenance theory.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:03 Mar 2017 11:02
Last Modified:09 Dec 2017 00:09
Publisher:Society for Judgment and Decision Making
ISSN:1930-2975
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://journal.sjdm.org/13/13722/jdm13722.html

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