STATE AND TRAIT ANXIETY EFFECTS ON DECISION-MAKING: PREDICTING HEURISTIC VERSUS ANALYTIC STRATEGY ADOPTION
O'Hare, Aminda Jo
University of Kansas
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The impact of mood states on decision-making behavior has revealed two styles of decision making: heuristic and analytic (Fiedler, 1991). When the limited research on anxious moods and decision-making style is considered, conflicting results are found with support for both analytic (Raghunathan and Pham, 1999) and heuristic (Berns, et al., 2006) decision making existing in the literature. The current study attempts to better describe how anxious mood influences decision-making style by applying a dual-anxiety framework (Heller & Nitschke, 1997) and to broaden the scope of how mood and decision making is examined by looking at the interaction between state and trait anxiety with emotional and non-emotional decision contexts. Additionally, a fast/slow information-processing model for dual-anxiety is proposed by the author that would parallel the predictions for heuristic and analytic decision-making styles for the two different anxiety types. Results support trait anxious apprehension being associated with analytic decision-making and state anxious arousal being associated with heuristic decision making, however, the fast/slow model may provide a more accurate dichotomy for describing the impact of dual anxiety on cognition. Additionally, the impact of anxiety type on decision-making style is found to be strongest in non-emotional decision contexts. The implications of these findings have direct applications for experimental design and decision framing when working with individuals high in anxiety.
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