Date of Award

1-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kateri McRae, Ph.D.

Keywords

Affect, Decision-making, Economic decision-making, Emotion, Risk-aversion

Abstract

Recent theories of decision-making have hinted that affect might be useful during some decision-making processes. I propose a model, the affective evaluation model, which defines the role of affect in decision-making as helpful when affect is decision-relevant and unhelpful when it is not. In three studies, I manipulate the decision-relevance of affect to test this central component of the affective evaluation model. Study 1 demonstrates that emphasizing decision-relevant affective signals facilitates optimal decision-making as compared to emphasizing purely cognitive evaluations. Study 2 tests the hypothesis that creating the expectation that affect is useful can facilitate decision-making. Finally, Study 3 tests the hypothesis that creating the expectation that affect is useful during decision-making can selectively improve decision making when affect is decision-relevant but not when it is decision-irrelevant, and demonstrates that instructing individuals to rely purely on cognitive evaluations can increase risk aversion. Together these studies find moderate support for a central tenet of the affective evaluation model that it is decision-relevance that determines whether affect is helpful or hurtful during decision-making and examines ways in which training or framing can optimize the decision-making process.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Pareezad Cyrus Zarolia

File size

80 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

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