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THE EFFECT OF EMOTIONAL STATE ON WAITING IN DECISION MAKING

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Abstract:

Previous research has indicated that many people often take extra time to consider existing information. They do so possibly in order to acquire more information, or even to “wait” in the hope that new information may be forthcoming before they make a decision. However, recent studies have provided scant information about how waiting affects a person's choice given different emotional states. In this paper, an experimental study was carried out to demonstrate and explain the relationship between waiting and a person's choice. Results show that when conditions are certain, more people choose to wait – when they are in a positive emotional state – in order to maintain their current mood. However, under either certain or uncertain conditions, when people are in a negative emotional state they prefer to take immediate action rather than wait. The causes and implications of this phenomenon are discussed in relation to the existing literature on emotions and choice.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2008.36.5.591

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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