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The effects of affect-based attitudes on judgment and decision making

Henning Plessner (), Susanne Haberstroh () and Tilmann Betsch ()
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Henning Plessner: Universität Heidelberg, Postal: Hauptstr. 47-51, 69117 Heidelberg
Susanne Haberstroh: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Tilmann Betsch: Universität Heidelberg/ Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: Hauptstr. 47-51, 69117 Heidelberg

No 99-30, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim

Abstract: Recent studies on attitude formation found that affect-based attitudinal judgments reflect the cumulative combination of prior experiences even if people are not able to explicitly remember the information. The present experiment was conducted to investigate whether people are able to monitor their affective responses when new information about attitudinal objects becomes available in a decision task. Participants took part in two seemingly unrelated experiments. In the first experiment different attitudes were formed non-intentionally about two shares while participants had to concentrate on another task. In the second experiment new information about the two shares were presented. Participants were either told at the beginning of the presentation or afterwards that they would have to decide between the shares. Additionally, they were either asked to focus exclusively on the information given about the shares in the second experiment or to use the prior information in their judgments as well. The decisions and attitudinal judgments of those participants who were instructed to ignore prior information reflected these previous experiences while those participants who were asked to use this information were not able to do so. Task knowledge had no influence on this effect. Thus, participants were neither in judgments nor in decisions able to monitor their affect-based attitudes.

Pages: 24 pages
Date: 1999-03-20
Note: Financial Support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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