Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decisionmaking?: A Hedgefoxian Perspective

Russell Sage Foundation
Free sample

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.
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About the author

KATHLEEN D. VOHS is the McKnight Land-Grant Professor and assistant professor in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. ROY F. BAUMEISTER is the Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar and professor of psychology at Florida State University. GEORGE LOEWENSTEIN is the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. CONTRIBUTORS: Christopher J. Anderson, Eduardo B. Andrade, Roy F. Baumeister, Jennifer S. Beer, Joel B. Cohen, C. Nathan DeWall, Matthew T. Gailliot, Karen Gasper, Lorenz Goette, David Huffman, Linda M. Isbell, Quinn Kennedy, Peter Kerkhof, Jonathan Levav, Debra Lieberman, George Loewenstein, Mara Mather, Nicole L. Mead, Benoît Monin, Robert Oum, David A. Pizarro, Catherine D. Rawn, Dianne M. Tice, Jennifer L. Trujillo, Kathleen D. Vohs, Piotr Winkielman, John M. Zelenski, and Liqing Zhang
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Additional Information

Publisher
Russell Sage Foundation
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Published on
Nov 26, 2007
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781610445436
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Microeconomics
Psychology / General
Psychology / Social Psychology
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time. Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. Time and Decision draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved. Shane Frederick, George Loewenstein, and Ted O'Donoghue introduce the volume with an overview of the research on time discounting and focus on how people actually discount the future compared to the standard economic model. Alex Kacelnik discusses the crucial role that the ability to delay gratification must have played in evolution. Walter Mischel and colleagues review classic research showing that four year olds who are able to delay gratification subsequently grow up to perform better in college than their counterparts who chose instant gratification. The book also delves into the neurobiology of patience, examining the brain structures involved in the ability to withstand an impulse. Turning to the issue of self-control, Klaus Wertenbroch examines the relationship between consumption and available resources, showing, for example, how a high credit limit can lead people to overspend. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin show how people's awareness of their self-control problems affects their decision-making. The final section of the book examines intertemporal choice with regard to health, drug addiction, dieting, marketing, savings, and public policy. All of us make important decisions every day-many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.
From leading authorities, this significantly revised and expanded handbook is a highly regarded reference in a rapidly growing field. It thoroughly examines the conscious and unconscious processes by which people manage their behavior and emotions, control impulses, and strive toward desired goals. Chapters explore such vital issues as why certain individuals have better self-control than others; how self-regulation shapes, and is shaped by, social relationships; underlying brain mechanisms and developmental pathways; and which interventions can improve people’s self-control. The volume also addresses self-regulatory failures and their consequences, with chapters on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, criminality, addictions, and money management challenges. As a special bonus, purchasers of the third edition can download a supplemental e-book featuring two notable, highly cited chapters from the second edition.

New to This Edition
*Incorporates current topic areas, theories, and empirical findings.
*Updated throughout, with 21 new chapters and numerous new authors.
*Cutting-edge topics: implicit self-regulation processes, the role of physical needs and processes (such as the importance of sleep), the benefits of dampening positivity, the frequency and consequences of emotional control in the workplace, and self-regulation training.
*Expanded coverage of motivational factors, romantic relationships, and lapses of self-control.
*Supplemental e-book featuring selected chapters from the prior edition.
“Ideas of economic democracy are very much in the air, as they should be, with increasing urgency in the midst of today’s serious crises. Richard Wolff’s constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times.”—Noam Chomsky

"Probably America's most prominent Marxist economist."—The New York Times

Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve.

One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers managing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy.

Here Richard D. Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to make that possible, addressing the many people who have concluded economic inequality and politics as usual can no longer be tolerated and are looking for a concrete program of action.

Richard D. Wolff is professor of Economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a visiting professor at the New School University in New York. Wolff is the author of many books, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. He hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI (Pacifica Radio) and writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine.


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