Have Emotions Been Affecting Your Decisions!

One of the most influential effects of emotion in decision making involves expected emotions. These are the emotions that people predict they will feel for an outcome. For example, a contestant in ‘Deal or No Deal’ might make a decision based on how good one feels after accepting the banks offer of $125,000 or how bad one feels after rejecting the banks offer and realizing that their briefcase has only $10.

Expected emotions are one of the factors that contribute to ‘risk aversion’- the tendency to avoid taking risks. Risk aversion tendency increases when one believes that a certain loss will have a larger impact than gain.

Immediate emotions can also affect decision making. These are the type of emotions you feel at that specific moment for example,  making a decision to leave your current job out of anger when your boss is unhappy with your work.

Incidental emotions  are perhaps the most common emotions that affect us in our day to day lives. These are emotions that are not caused by having to make a decision. These emotions can be related to a person’s general mood, something that happened earlier in the day(good or bad), or a general setting such as the background music played in a game or yells of an audience in a game show.

Integral Immediate emotions are emotions- such as anxiety- that can influence our decision making. These emotions also encourage risk aversion decision making. Integral immediate emotions often lead to stress. In this case, most decisions made are under pressure and consequently, can influence for poor decision making.

The fact that emotions can play a role in decision making was first implied by observing people who had their prefrontal cortex damaged. These people suffered from flattened emotions, an inability to respond to emotional events and have impaired decision making. One explanation for this effect is that these people find it difficult to evaluate the emotional outcome.


location of the Prefrontal cortex

In conclusion, tho you probably don’t notice, emotions affect your decisions. Therefore, next time when you make a decision make sure you are aware of what you are feeling and make sure to think if it’s the right time to make a decision.

Edited by: Keerthana Suresh 


http://www.farhanspokenenglishclasses.com/weoffer.php (Featured image)

Cognitive psychology, Bruce Goldstein (4th edition)

http://neurosciencenews.com/mood-neural-networks-4553/prefrontal-cortex-mood-neurosciencenews/ ( image source)


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