Representativeness, Relevance, and the Use of Feelings in Decision Making
It has been suggested that evaluations may be based on a "How-do-I-feel-about-it?" heuristic, which involves holding a representation of the target in mind and inspecting feelings that this representation may elicit. Previous studies have shown that reliance on such feelings depends on whether or not they are believed to be representative of the target. This article argues that reliance on feelings also depends on whether feelings toward the target are regarded as relevant. Consistent with this thesis, findings from three experiments indicate that reliance on the "How-do-I-feel-about-it?" heuristic is more likely when the decision maker has consummatory as opposed to instrumental motives. Results also suggest that subtle feelings toward the target are indeed instantiated in the process, and that the process may be more likely among individuals with a propensity to process information in a visual and sensory manner. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.
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