Mindsets and the Affect Gap

The affect gap in risky choice describes individuals' tendency to use different decision strategies depending on different decision contexts. Researchers found that for affect-rich decisions (e.g., decisions involving medical side effects), individuals are more likely to show ‘probability neglect’ (i.e., concentrate on the dread of outcomes instead of their probability) than they do for affect-poor decisions (e.g., monetary gambles). This may have adverse consequences, for example, if it leads to people to avoid traveling by plane (less risky) but deciding to drive (riskier) instead after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. We expect the implemental mindset to heighten economic risk-taking in monetary gambles but, at the same time, to increase the detrimental impact of affect on decision quality for affect-rich decisions. In contrast, the deliberative mindset should lead to being less influenced by affect. Please contact lucas.keller [at] uni-konstanz.de if you are interested in writing your thesis about decision-making and the role of affect.