Date of Award
Kateri McRae, Ph.D.
Affect, Decision-Making, Economic Decision-Making, Emotion, Risk-Aversion
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.
Zarolia, Pareezad Cyrus, "Defining a Role for Affect in Decision-Making" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1177.
Received from ProQuest
Pareezad Cyrus Zarolia
Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Cognitive Psychology
Available for download on Friday, September 14, 2018