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Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decisionmaking?
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Philosophers have long tussled over whether moral judgments are the products of logical reasoning or simply emotional reactions. From Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility to the debates of modern psychologists, the question of whether feeling or sober rationality is the better guide to decision making has been a source of controversy. In Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? Kathleen Vohs, Roy Baumeister, and George Loewenstein lead a group of prominent psychologists and economists in exploring the empirical evidence on how emotions shape judgments and choices. Researchers on emotion and cognition have staked out many extreme positions: viewing emotions as either the driving force behind cognition or its side effect, either an impediment to sound judgment or a guide to wise decisions. The contributors to Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? provide a richer perspective, exploring the circumstances that shape whether emotions play a harmful or helpful role in decisions. Roy Baumeister, C. Nathan DeWall, and Liqing Zhang show that while an individual’s current emotional state can lead to hasty decisions and self-destructive behavior, anticipating future emotional outcomes can be a helpful guide to making sensible decisions. Eduardo Andrade and Joel Cohen find that a positive mood can negatively affect people’s willingness to act altruistically. Happy people, when made aware of risks associated with altruistic acts, become wary of jeopardizing their own well-being. Benoît Monin, David Pizarro, and Jennifer Beer find that whether emotion or reason matters more in moral evaluation depends on the specific issue in question. Individual characteristics often mediate the effect of emotions on decisions. Catherine Rawn, Nicole Mead, Peter Kerkhof, and Kathleen Vohs find that whether an individual makes a decision based on emotion depends both on the type of decision in question and the individual’s level of self-esteem. And Quinn Kennedy and Mara Mather show that the elderly are better able to regulate their emotions, having learned from experience to anticipate the emotional consequences of their behavior. Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? represents a significant advance toward a comprehensive theory of emotions and cognition that accounts for the nuances of the mental processes involved. This landmark book will be a stimulus to scholarly debates as well as an informative guide to everyday decisions.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. About the Authors
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Part I. Overview
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Introduction: The Hedgefox
  2. pp. 3-10
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  1. 1. Do Emotions Improve or Hinder the Decision Making Process?
  2. pp. 11-32
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  1. Part 2. Integrative Frameworks
  2. pp. 33-34
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  1. 2. Affect-Based Evaluation and Regulation as Mediators of Behavior: The Role of Affect in Risk Taking, Helping, and Eating Patterns
  2. pp. 35-68
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  1. 3. Emotional Influence on Decision and Behavior: Stimuli, States, and Subjectivity
  2. pp. 69-92
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  1. 4. Feeling, Searching, and Preparing: How Affective States Alter Information Seeking
  2. pp. 93-116
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  1. 5. The Role of Personality in Emotion, Judgment, and Decision Making
  2. pp. 117-132
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  1. 6. Emotion as Cognition: An Information-Processing View of the Mind
  2. pp. 133-154
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  1. Part 3. Specific Mechanisms
  2. pp. 155-156
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  1. 7. The Effects of Self-Esteem and Ego Threat on Decision Making
  2. pp. 157-182
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  1. 8. The Functions of Emotion in Decision Making and Decision Avoidance
  2. pp. 183-202
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  1. 9. Emotion Regulation and Impluse Control: People Succumb to Their Impulses in Order to Feel Better
  2. pp. 203-216
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  1. Part 4. Applications
  2. pp. 217-218
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  1. 10. Reason and Emotion in Moral Judgment: Different Prototypes Lead to Different Theories
  2. pp. 219-244
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  1. 11. Aging, Affect, and Decision Making
  2. pp. 245-266
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  1. 12. Affect and Cognition as a Source of Motivation: A New Model and Evidence from Natural Experiments
  2. pp. 267-294
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  1. 13. The Impact of Emotions on Wage Setting and Unemployment
  2. pp. 295-314
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  1. 14. The Mind and the Body: Subjective Well-Being in an Objective World
  2. pp. 315-344
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 345-358
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