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Reason, Passion, & Cognition, Week 6 Notes

by: Monica Chang

Reason, Passion, & Cognition, Week 6 Notes 88-120

Marketplace > Carnegie Mellon University > Social & Decision Sciences > 88-120 > Reason Passion Cognition Week 6 Notes
Monica Chang

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Lecture 10 - Emotion & Decision-making Lecture 11 - Regret & Disappointment
Reason, Passion, and Cognition
Julie Downs
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Monica Chang on Tuesday October 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 88-120 at Carnegie Mellon University taught by Julie Downs in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Reason, Passion, and Cognition in Social & Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.


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Date Created: 10/11/16
LECTURE 10: Emotion and Decision-making Integral Emotion: - Integral emotions - emotions that actually have to do with the situation pertaining to decision - Corrective design: with lots of options, system 1 uses integral emotion to help with decisions (emotional reaction to options are integral to decision), then system 2 can come in to correct it - In general, it’s hard to find evidence for integral emotion b/c 1. Emotion needs to be measured at time of decision 2. Need to show that motion mediated decision o So typically evidence comes from neuroscience, often from brain damage to emotion - Phineas Gage - Damage to Ventromedial Pre-Frontal Cortex (VMPFC) o Changes social behavior, can’t see social conventions and decide on personal matters o Intellectual abilities preserved – learning, memory, language, attention, etc. o Abnormalities exist mainly in emotions - Iowa Gambling Task o Two decks of cards: one of big wins and one of bigger losses o Two more decks of cards: one of small wins and one of smaller losses o People WITHOUT brain damage will realize that even though there are big wins, the small wins are better because there are smaller losses with them. They subconsciously react to the good decks before they realize they are. o People WITH brain damage did not react to big losses, they kept choosing from the wrong decks even after they know o This suggests that emotion is important in decision- making - We used to believe emotion prevents good decisions, but studies of emotion-impaired patients suggest otherwise: o Emotion is essential to good decision making o Emotion is often part of rational decisions o Emotions guide people, whether good or bad - Emotion & Prospect Theory Value function in emotion: o Reference dependence  Emotions are limited in time  Emotions respond to changes (relative)  We habituate to constants: with a constant stimulus, we get used it, so our emotions diminish  Ex. Money is not greatly correlated with happiness because at a certain point when we have enough money, we are used to having money and we aren’t as happy about it o Loss Aversion (steeper for losses)  Negative emotions weigh more heavily than positive emotions  In many texts, there are more negative emotional words than positive ones  Negative memories are more remembered than positive ones  Negative emotion has stronger affect on cognitive processes o Concave for gains, convex for losses (s-curve, implies risk aversion)  Affect heuristic  Emotion is minimally impacted by magnitude (more curved): the more emotional people are, the more concave the curve is, the scope of it becomes more insignificant o Evidence of risk aversion in emotion:  Study 1: Buying Madonna CDs  One group given a calculation math problem (to prime rational thinking).  Other group asked about their feelings in reaction to the word “baby” (to prime emotions)  Task: How much would you pay for a Madonna CD? o For people with the calculation mindset, they would pay more for 10 CDs than 5 CDs o For people with the feeling mindset, they would pay about the same for the 10 CDs versus 5 CDs  Study 2: Affect presentation  Some people were primed with one picture of dot versus 4 pictures of dots  Other people were primed with one picture of panda versus 4 pictures of pandas  Task: How much would you pay to save pandas? o People primed with dots had a bigger difference in willingness to donate between saving 1 panda versus 4 pandas, while people primed with 1 versus 4 panda pictures had less of a difference o And overall, affect-rich people were willing to pay more  These studies suggest that emotion is minimally impacted by magnitude (severe risk aversion, more curved) Decision weight function in emotion: o Low probabilities overweighted, high probabilities underweighted  Less emotional  Describe features  Describe consequences  Closer to normative  More emotional  Affect-rich description  Farther from rational o Example:  For an affect-poor object (e.g. the chance of losing $20), there is a greater difference between how much people are willing to pay for a 1% chance and 99% chance of it happening. But for an affect-rich object (e.g. the chance of getting electric shock), there is a smaller different between how much people are willing to pay for a 1% and 99% chance of it happening. Incidental emotion: - Incidental emotion - emotion irrelevant to the actual situation of the decision, comes in from the side (e.g. mood due to other things in life) - Affects weighting of alternatives and system 2 - Emotion and risk o Study Example:  Researchers induced negative mood for one group and positive mood for another group  Their emotion affected how much they perceived risk of different events: people primed with negative emotions found higher risks in different events and people primed with positive emotions found lower risks with different events o Within positive emotions and negative emotions there are differences:  Example: fear vs. anger  Fear: appraisals of uncertainty and little control  Anger: appraisals of certainty and control  Studies give evidence that angry people are more risk-seeking and fearful people are less risk-seeking  Studies give evidence that angry people are more optimistic and fearful people are more pessimistic - Emotion and the Endowment Effect o How do incidental emotions affect bias?  Study example:  One group primed with sadness  Second group primed with disgust  Third group is neutral  Some people given highlighters, some not given highlighters. Neutral people tended to want to sell than to buy. Sad people tended to want to buy than to sell. Disgusted people treated selling and buying about the same. - Emotion and Dual processes o Certainty in appraisals will affect whether system 2 will come in o High-certainty emotions  Disgust, anger, happiness, etc.  Less likely to use system 1 (heuristics) than system 2 o Low-certainty emotions  Fear, hope, worry, etc.  More likely to use system 2 than system 1 o People primed with low-certainty emotions will be less certain of other things than those primed with high- certainty emotions Key ideas: - Emotions are essential to decisions - Emotions impact decision in 2 ways: o Integral emotion: triggered by options relevant to situation o Incidental emotion: triggered by holdovers from other sources - Incidental emotions affect in 2 ways: o Changing weight of alternatives o Changing involvement of system 2 LECTURE 11: Regret and Disappointment Regret vs. disappointment: - Cognitively based, negative emotions related to sadness - Comparative component o Show dissatisfaction w/ outcome  Outcome is unexpected o Perceiving outcome is inferior to expectation  Feedback is important  Negative feedback leads to regret & disappointment  Real or imagined  Can ruin an experience you had  Can suggest you made the wrong decision o Can be negative even when you make right decision  Ex1. Usually, if you don’t win the lottery, it doesn’t have an effect on you. But if you don’t buy a lottery ticket and your postcode is chosen, you regret not buying the lottery  Ex2. Movie versus concert. You choose to go to the movie and it was great but you find out later that the concert was amazing. o Feedback: You learn to maybe go to a concert over movie next time because you can always see a movie, but the concert is only once - Responsibility component o Regret  More personal responsibility, felt like you had control, can cause goal persistence (more motivated to change behavior next time around) o Disappointment  More responsibility on the situation or on others, powerlessness, can cause goal abandonment - Anticipated regret o Regret can help people learn o Anticipated regret is when we want to minimize the possibility of regret, which can lead to both rational decisions and bad decisions o Ex. Monte Hall problem  People say they feel worse if they switch and lose than if they stayed and lost  Anticipated regret prevent people from making a better choice o The Minimax Regret Principle (heuristic)  Find maximum possible regret for each option  Choose option where max regret is minimized, leads us to overweight how things may go wrong, we don’t pay attention to which options have the best positive things  Useful when we lack knowledge of probabilities and outcomes  Improbable negative outcomes will be overweighted  Ex1. Movie vs. concert  Regret potential is high for choosing the movie, and low for choosing the concert b/c concert is a one time thing so you want to minimize the possibility of missing out if the concert is good  Ex. Option 1: 1% win $100, 99% chance win $0. Option 2: 80% win $2, 20% win $0  Using the Minimax Regret Principle, we would choose option 1 because we want to minimize the max regret of potentially losing that $100 (anticipated regret) When do we anticipate these emotions?: - Expected feedback o Regret and disappointment come from past outcomes o If there is no feedback, it’s much more difficult to make comparisons o Therefore, we’re less likely to experience these regret & disappointment if there is less expected feedback o Ex. Risky gamble: 25% of winning $20, Safe gamble: 50% chance of winning $10 You always learn the outcome of your gamble Manipulating feedback for the other gamble:  Get feedback on risky gamble o Always find out outcome for risky bet, but only given outcome of safe bet if you choose it o Max regret: if you pick safe, but would have won risky  Get feedback on safe gamble o Always find out outcome of safe bet, but only given outcome of risky bet if you choose it o Max regret: if you pick risky, but would have won safe  Minimax suggest that either way, we should choose option with feedback (the one that has the other option censored and minimizes max regret)  For negotiations and gambles, we are more risk- seeking when they expect feedback about riskier options - Counterfactuals o We make hypothetical alternatives (might have happened, but didn’t) o We make up feedback when don’t have real feedback o More likely to imagine counterfactuals in highly mutable situations (when you feel like you’re more likely to change something) o What makes a situation more mutable?:  Expectation vs. Routine  A person who gets in a car accident on a road they always take on the way home from work is less disappointed than a person who goes on an unusual route and gets into a car accident  Near miss vs. far miss  Ex. Olympic silver medalist are often sadder than bronze medalists  Action vs. inaction  Ex. Losing because you bought a losing stock versus not selling a stock feels worse  Ex. We feel more regret when we change an answer on a test and get it wrong than if we stuck with an answer and got it wrong. However, based on studies, when you switch an answer on a test, you are more likely to be right o Regret and disappointment result from counterfactuals  Regret is attributed to counterfactuals of changing behavior  Ex. If only you studied harder  Disappointment is attributed to counterfactuals of changing a situation  Ex. If only the test was tomorrow Anticipated versus experienced regret - When people are asked if they’d feel more regret missing a train by 1 min vs. 5 min, people say they’d feel more regret missing a train by 1 min. - Actual people who experienced missing a train by 1 min or 5 min were asked, and there wasn’t a difference Avoiding regret - Temporal patterns of regret: o In the long run, people regret inaction more than actions o In the short run, we regret actions more than inactions o Why?  Factors repair and lessen the pain of regrettable actions over time more than inactions  Behavioral repair work: o We can more easily fix regrettable actions, harder to imagine fixing an inaction o Ex. If you regret getting married, you can get a divorce. If you regret not getting married, it’s harder to ameliorate.  Psychological repair work o More silver linings w/ regrettable actions (“I learned something!”) o More dissonance w/ regrettable actions (“At least I’m still alive.”) o Regrettable actions are easier to rationalize  Factors increase the accessibility of regrettable inactions  Ziergarnik Effect o We remember unfinished tasks more than finished ones o A failures to act is more memorable than a regrettable action o Ex. If you don’t finish a question on an exam, you are more likely to think about that afterwards, than another completed question o Ziergarnik Effect can contribute to the role of inaction - Defensive Pessimism o Lower expectations  Tradeoff:  Pessimism can protect us against disappointment  But can make us unhappy while we wait for outcome Expectation Pre-outcome Post-outcome Optimistic Savoring Disappointment (assuming negative outcome) Pessimistic Dread Less disappointment (assuming negative outcome)  Deciding on whether to be pessimistic vs. optimistic depends on the magnitude of the pre- outcome and post-outcome effects  Using defensive pessimism may not be the best strategy in avoiding disappointment, maybe we shouldn’t try to avoid regret… Key Ideas: - Regret & disappointment are cognitively based o They have a comparative component & responsibility component - We anticipate regret o Expected feedback & counterfactuals are the main components - Anticipated regret is more negative than experienced regret - Avoiding regret o We adapt faster than expected o In the long run, people regret inaction more than actions o In the short run, we regret actions more than inactions o This is because of easier repair of regrettable actions (behavioral & psychological) and greater accessibility to regrettable inactions (Ziergarnik Effect)


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