Emotion and Decision Making: How Feeling is for Doing
On 25th of September has been held seminar from series "Culture Matters" with Seger Breugelmans and Marcel Zeelenberg, PhD, Professors of Social Psychology in Tilburg University, Netherlands. They made a presentation on following topic: "Emotion and Decision Making: How Feeling is for Doing".
Most theories of decision making consider it to be rational, which means that person take time and invest effort to produce a list of advantages and disadvantages, or costs and benefits for all alternatives in each single decision and decide on the basis of a rational calculation of those. Previously emotions were considered to be disturbing and irrational. But recently researchers found out usage of emotions in decision making. Damasio (2001) argued that emotions are "a way of guiding our own judgments and decisions".
The importance of emotion for decision making is also apparent in the fact that decision making itself is often an emotional process. Previously, emotions did not make it into decision research because they were seen as intrinsically unstable and unpredictable, partly because they could not be measured objectively. Today, most problems with unpredictability and immeasurability of emotions have been solved. Understanding of what emotions are for may help with understanding human's behavior. M. Zeelenberg and colleagues have termed the feeling-is-for-doing approach, in which they conceptualize emotions as motivational processes. Emotions are playing a role of signals for predicting future behavior.
S. Breugelmans and M. Zeelenberg conducted a number of studies to show the link between concrete emotions (such as regret, envy and greed) and specific behavior. Findings of these studies allowed them to made following conclusions: 1) emotions motivate behavior, 2) different emotions have different effects, and 3) insight into the experiential content allows for predictions of emotion specific effects.