Do emotions improve or hinder the decision making process?

Roy F. Baumeister, C. Nathan Dewall, Liqing Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

30 Scopus citations


TO ARRIVE at a decision, people use both cognition and emotion. The cognitive aspects of decision making, including the use of such heuristics as availability, representativeness, and anchoring and adjustment, have received considerable attention (Epley and Gilovich 2001; Kahneman, Slovic, and Tversky 1982; Tversky and Kahneman 1974). More recently, social scientists have sought to consider how emotional processes influence decision making. Researchers have to yet to reach a consensus, however, as to whether emotions improve or hinder the decision making process. On the one hand, sometimes emotions impair decision making. A long tradition of folk wisdom suggests that emotions seriously hinder the ability for people to make good decisions. It is thought that people who are emotionally distraught frequently engage in rash, reckless, and even destructive behaviors. They say and do things that they regret later. They take foolish risks and fail to appreciate the potentially harmful consequences of their choices. From this perspective, emotions are inimical to the decision making process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDo Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making?
Subtitle of host publicationA Hedgefoxian Perspective
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781610445436
StatePublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2007 by Russell Sage Foundation. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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