Probabilistic Inferences Under Emotional Stress: How Arousal Affects Decision Processes

Wichary, S. and Mata, R. and Rieskamp, J.. (2016) Probabilistic Inferences Under Emotional Stress: How Arousal Affects Decision Processes. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 29 (5). pp. 525-538.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/53379/

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Many models of decision making neglect emotional states that could affect individuals' cognitive processes. The present work explores the effect of emotional stress on people's cognitive processes when making probabilistic inferences. Two contrasting hypotheses are tested against one another: the uncertainty-reduction and attention-narrowing hypotheses of how emotional stress affects decision making. In the experimental study, emotional stress was induced through the use of highly aversive pictures immediately before each decision. Emotional state was assessed by both subjective (state anxiety, arousal, and pleasantness ratings) and objective (skin conductance) measures. The results show that emotional stress impacts decision making; in particular, emotionally aroused participants seem to have focused on the most important information and selected simpler decision strategies relative to participants in a control condition. The results are in line with the attention-narrowing hypothesis and suggest that emotional stress can impact decision making through limited predecisional information search and the selection of simpler decision strategies.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Economic Psychology (Rieskamp)
UniBasel Contributors:Mata, Rui and Rieskamp, Jörg and Wichary, Szymon
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 Sep 2018 16:38
Deposited On:31 Oct 2017 11:11

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