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Psychol Bull. 2001 Mar;127(2):267-86.

Risk as feelings.

Author information

  • 1Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3890, USA. gl20@andrew.cmu.edu

Abstract

Virtually all current theories of choice under risk or uncertainty are cognitive and consequentialist. They assume that people assess the desirability and likelihood of possible outcomes of choice alternatives and integrate this information through some type of expectation-based calculus to arrive at a decision. The authors propose an alternative theoretical perspective, the risk-as-feelings hypothesis, that highlights the role of affect experienced at the moment of decision making. Drawing on research from clinical, physiological, and other subfields of psychology, they show that emotional reactions to risky situations often diverge from cognitive assessments of those risks. When such divergence occurs, emotional reactions often drive behavior. The risk-as-feelings hypothesis is shown to explain a wide range of phenomena that have resisted interpretation in cognitive-consequentialist terms.

PMID:
11316014
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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