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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1992 Aug;63(2):320-30.

The effect of normative beliefs on anticipated emotions.

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Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6196.


In 3 experiments, Ss were asked how they would or should make hypothetical decisions and how they would react emotionally to the options or outcomes. The choices were those in which departures from proposed normative models had previously been found: omission bias, status quo bias, and the person-causation effect. These effects were found in all judgments, including judgments of anticipated emotion. Arguments against the departures affected judgments of anticipated emotion as well as decisions, even though the arguments were entirely directed at the question of what should be done. In all but one study, effects of these arguments on anticipated emotion were as strong as their effects on decisions or normative beliefs. Thus, in many situations, people think that their emotional reactions will fall into line with their normative beliefs. In other situations, some people think that their emotional reactions have a life of their own. It is suggested that both normative beliefs and anticipated emotions affect decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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