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Contingent reliance on the affect heuristic as a function of regulatory focus

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  • Pham, Michel Tuan
  • Avnet, Tamar

Abstract

Results from four studies show that the reliance on affect as a heuristic of judgment and decision making is more pronounced under a promotion focus than under a prevention focus. Two different manifestations of this phenomenon were observed. Studies 1-3 show that different types of affective inputs are weighted more heavily under promotion than under prevention in person-impression formation, product evaluations, and social recommendations. Study 4 additionally shows that valuations performed under promotion are more scope-insensitive--a characteristic of affect-based valuations--than valuations performed under prevention. The greater reliance on affect as a heuristic under promotion seems to arise because promotion-focused individuals tend to find affective inputs more diagnostic, not because promotion increases the reliance on peripheral information per se.

Suggested Citation

  • Pham, Michel Tuan & Avnet, Tamar, 2009. "Contingent reliance on the affect heuristic as a function of regulatory focus," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 267-278, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:108:y:2009:i:2:p:267-278
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brockner, Joel & Paruchuri, Srikanth & Idson, Lorraine Chen & Higgins, E. Tory, 2002. "Regulatory Focus and the Probability Estimates of Conjunctive and Disjunctive Events," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 5-24, January.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-235, December.
    3. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
    4. Crowe, Ellen & Higgins, E. Tory, 1997. "Regulatory Focus and Strategic Inclinations: Promotion and Prevention in Decision-Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 117-132, February.
    5. Ratner, Rebecca K. & Herbst, Kenneth C., 2005. "When good decisions have bad outcomes: The impact of affect on switching behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 23-37, January.
    6. Tuan Pham, Michel & Meyvis, Tom & Zhou, Rongrong, 2001. "Beyond the Obvious: Chronic Vividness of Imagery and the Use of Information in Decision Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 226-253, March.
    7. Pham, Michel Tuan & Avnet, Tamar, 2004. " Ideals and Oughts and the Reliance on Affect versus Substance in Persuasion," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 503-518, March.
    8. Fetherstonhaugh, David & Slovic, Paul & Johnson, Stephen & Friedrich, James, 1997. "Insensitivity to the Value of Human Life: A Study of Psychophysical Numbing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 283-300, May-June.
    9. Forster, Jens & Higgins, E. Tory & Bianco, Amy Taylor, 2003. "Speed/accuracy decisions in task performance: Built-in trade-off or separate strategic concerns?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 148-164, January.
    10. Shiv, Baba & Fedorikhin, Alexander, 1999. " Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 278-292, December.
    11. Pham, Michel Tuan, 1998. " Representativeness, Relevance, and the Use of Feelings in Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 144-159, September.
    12. Sunstein, Cass R, 2003. "Terrorism and Probability Neglect," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 121-136, March-May.
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    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:195:y:2017:i:c:p:50-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kramer, Thomas & Yucel-Aybat, Ozge & Lau-Gesk, Loraine, 2011. "The effect of schadenfreude on choice of conventional versus unconventional options," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 140-147, September.
    3. Samson, Alain & Voyer, Benjamin G., 2012. "Two minds, three ways: dual system and dual process models in consumer psychology," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47252, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Florack, Arnd & Keller, Johannes & Palcu, Johanna, 2013. "Regulatory focus in economic contexts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 127-137.
    5. Huber, Michaela & Van Boven, Leaf & McGraw, A. Peter & Johnson-Graham, Laura, 2011. "Whom to help? Immediacy bias in judgments and decisions about humanitarian aid," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 283-293, July.
    6. Samson, Alain & Voyer, Benjamin G., 2014. "Emergency purchasing situations: Implications for consumer decision-making," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 21-33.
    7. Higgins, E. Tory & Cornwell, James F.M., 2016. "Securing foundations and advancing frontiers: Prevention and promotion effects on judgment & decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 56-67.
    8. Pham, Michel Tuan & Faraji-Rad, Ali & Toubia, Olivier & Lee, Leonard, 2015. "Affect as an ordinal system of utility assessment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 81-94.

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