The enduring impact of transient emotions on decision making

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2009-05-01

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Abstract

People often do not realize they are being influenced by an incidental emotional state. As a result, decisions based on a fleeting incidental emotion can become the basis for future decisions and hence outlive the original cause for the behavior (i.e., the emotion itself). Using a sequence of ultimatum and dictator games, we provide empirical evidence for the enduring impact of transient emotions on economic decision making. Behavioral consistency and false consensus are presented as potential underlying processes. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.02.003

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Andrade, EB, and D Ariely (2009). The enduring impact of transient emotions on decision making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109(1). pp. 1–8. 10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.02.003 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6221.

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Scholars@Duke

Ariely

Dan Ariely

Professor of Business Administration

HI, I'M DAN ARIELY. I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you.

My immersive introduction to irrationality took place many years ago while I was overcoming injuries sustained in an explosion. The range of treatments in the burn department, and particularly the daily “bath” made me face a variety of irrational behaviors that were immensely painful and persistent. Upon leaving the hospital, I wanted to understand how to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients, so I began conducting research in this area.

I became engrossed with the idea that we repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives and that research could help change some of these patterns.

Irrationally YoursPredictably IrrationalThe Upside of Irrationality,The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, the movie Dishonesty and the card game Irrational Game are my attempt to take my research findings and describe them in non academic terms, so that more people will learn about this type of research, discover the excitement of behavioral economics, and possibly use some of the insights to enrich their own lives.

In terms of official positions, I am a Professor of Business Administration at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.

My free time is spent working on a guide to the kitchen and life—Dining Without Crumbs: The Art of Eating Over the Kitchen Sink—and of course, studying the irrational ways we all behave.


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