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Selecting decision strategies: the differential role of affect

Published inCognition and emotion, vol. 29, no. 1, p. 158-167
Publication date2015

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.

  • Affect
  • Decision-making
  • Strategy selection
  • Online study
  • Bayesian statistics
Citation (ISO format)
SCHEIBEHENNE, Benjamin, VON HELVERSEN, Bettina. Selecting decision strategies: the differential role of affect. In: Cognition and emotion, 2015, vol. 29, n° 1, p. 158–167. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2014.896318
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Article (Accepted version)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0269-9931

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