The effect of mood on decision-making : a role for personal experience

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kimberly Rose Bolen (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
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Karen Daniels

Abstract: This research had two objectives. The first was to examine the effect of mood on decision-making using a novel induction procedure. The second was to assess whether an individual?s personal history moderates those mood effects. The mood induction procedure involved having participants listen to an audiotape depicting a fictional 911 call of either a domestic violence disturbance or a bar fight. Participants then completed four decision-making tasks, and their performance was compared to a no-induction control group. The influence of personal experience was examined by comparing the performance of participants with and without a history of domestic violence. Both the mood induction manipulation and prior experience with domestic violence were expected to result in riskier decision-making. Moreover, the two factors were expected to interact, such that victims show the greatest deficits in the domestic violence induction condition. The results revealed some limited evidence that non-victims exposed to the domestic disturbance audiotape demonstrated higher levels of risktaking behavior. Contrary to the aforementioned predictions, domestic violence victims demonstrated a tendency towards risk aversion, and the relevant induction procedure seemed to exacerbate their cautious behavior. Correlations between the various decision-making tasks were generally low supporting the idea that decision-making is a multifaceted construct. Explanations for the main findings, as well as their theoretical and practical implications, are explored more fully in the General Discussion.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Decision making, Emotions and cognition
Decision making
Emotions and cognition

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