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Asymmetric effects of positive and negative affect on decision making.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological reports
Publication Date
Volume
106
Issue
1
Pages
193–204
Identifiers
PMID: 20402444
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although affect is a fundamental element of decision making, there are different theoretical accounts and conflicting empirical evidence of its influence. This experiment was done to begin a more coherent account of the influence of affect by using standardised images to induce affect and a betting task to measure decision making. Eighty-five participants were assigned to a positive, a negative, or a neutral affect condition before making decisions on two hypothetical horse races. Analysis indicated that those in the positive and negative conditions made lower-risk decisions than those in the neutral condition; however, this did not differ between the races, suggesting that task familiarity did not moderate the influence of affect. Contrary to previous research, these results indicate that positive and negative affect do not necessarily exert symmetrical effects on decision making. Implications for the major accounts of the influence of affect on decision making are discussed in relation to the findings.

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