How Emotions Influences Decision Making?

Emotion could be defined as the complex set of feelings that affect our psychological and behavioral processes. And decision making involves, the process of selecting one among the few available variables.

Emotions have been the favorite subject of psychologists for hundreds of years. It was one among the earliest topics of research. The same goes for decision making. Many correlation studies where done and came up with different conclusions. There is a common advice that we usually hear is to follow our gut feelings and intuitions. That may seem to be satisfying but the truth is another way around. A series of researches by various psychologists at the organizational level found that the productivity of the mangers was high when they tried to solve things in a systematic matter rather than following mere intuitions.

There are 10 basic emotions, and each of them has different effects on the person’s cognition. Moreover, there will be individual differences on how the person perceives the emotion and the situation in relation to it. For, there are studies that positive emotions like happiness may increase your ability in creative tasks and hence would aid in decision making. On the contrary, there are reports that high levels of any kind of emotion, whether positive or negative make us more cognitively engaged, making it difficult in the decision making process. Bu 90% of the researchers came up with the conclusion that people experiencing a neutral state of mind were better decision-makers in comparison. They took the right strategies and arrived at the best conclusions.

Major research conclusions in the past few years on the topic includes:

 1) Emotions are the main predictable drivers of decision making and the effects of emotion on judgments are no way random.

2) Whether a specific emotion improves or degrades a decision-making process depends greatly upon the environmental and other cognitive factors.

3) When emotions are highly intense, it becomes very difficult to have control over it. Then the person must adopt some systematic strategies for better emotional control.

After years of research, psychologists had failed to arrive at a conclusion to provide a general model of the emotion and decision-making process. It’s more an integrated effect.

how does emotion affect behavior pdf

More importantly, emotions can affect the speed of decision making. If you are experiencing a positive emotion then there are chances of jumping into conclusions without much thought. On the other hand, if you are sad, then your emotions would be clouded by questions and uncertainty. If a person is angry then they might just jump into any random harsh decision.

They often tend to take more risks. Fearful people made more pessimistic decisions and likewise different emotions had different effects on the decision-making process which greatly varied among individuals.

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