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Models of Affective Decision Making: How Do Feelings Predict Choice?

Charpentier, CJ; De Neve, JE; Li, X; Roiser, JP; Sharot, T; (2016) Models of Affective Decision Making: How Do Feelings Predict Choice? Psychological Science , 27 (6) pp. 763-775. 10.1177/0956797616634654. Green open access

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Abstract

Intuitively, how you feel about potential outcomes will determine your decisions. Indeed, an implicit assumption in one of the most influential theories in psychology, prospect theory, is that feelings govern choice. Surprisingly, however, very little is known about the rules by which feelings are transformed into decisions. Here, we specified a computational model that used feelings to predict choices. We found that this model predicted choice better than existing value-based models, showing a unique contribution of feelings to decisions, over and above value. Similar to the value function in prospect theory, our feeling function showed diminished sensitivity to outcomes as value increased. However, loss aversion in choice was explained by an asymmetry in how feelings about losses and gains were weighted when making a decision, not by an asymmetry in the feelings themselves. The results provide new insights into how feelings are utilized to reach a decision.

Type: Article
Title: Models of Affective Decision Making: How Do Feelings Predict Choice?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0956797616634654
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797616634654
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: decision making, feelings, prospect theory, subjective well-being, utility, value
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485643
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