Thursday, April 23, 2009

Emotions as an information source

In “Risk as Feelings”, Loewenstein, Weber and Hsee argue that these processes of decision making include ‘anticipatory emotions’ and ‘anticipated emotions’: “anticipatory emotions are immediate visceral reactions (fear, anxiety, dread) to risk and uncertainties”; “anticipated emotions are typically not experienced in the immediate present but are expected to be experienced in the future” (disappointment or regret). Both types of emotions serve as additional source of information.
For example, research shows that happy decision-makers are reluctant to gamble. The fact that a person is happy would make him or her decide against gambling, since he or she would not want to undermine his or her happy feeling. This can be looked upon as "mood maintenance".

According to the information hypothesis, feelings during the decision process affects people's choices, in cases where feelings are experienced as reactions to the imminent decision. If feelings are attributed to an irrelevant source to the decision at hand, their impact is reduced or eliminated.

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