Feeling, searching, and preparing: How affective states alter information seeking

Karen Gasper, Linda M. Isbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


INDIVIDUALS MAKE an astonishing number of decisions each day. They decide on mundane matters (what to wear, drink, and read), important matters (whether one has prepared enough for a test, whether to hire a person, and whether one is persuaded by an argument), and occasionally on life-altering matters (whom to marry, where to move, and if one should have children). To help them make these decisions, people can access a seemingly endless amount of information. The simple decision of what to eat for breakfast, for example, might require a person to search the refrigerator, cabinets, and pantry, and to identify appropriate foods. The person may read the nutritional labels to learn the salt, carbohydrate, fat, and calorie content of the food. Once the person decides to have eggs for breakfast, the individual might consult a cookbook to determine whether the eggs should be scrambled, sunny side up, or made into a tasty frittata. Because people's lives are so demanding, they often do not have the time or the cognitive resources to devote much conscious attention toward all the decisions that have to be made on a daily basis. Luckily, unconscious processes often operate in conjunction with conscious thought to help people navigate through this complex informational world, shaping what information they seek out, how much information they seek out, and how they use this information to form a decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDo Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making?
Subtitle of host publicationA Hedgefoxian Perspective
PublisherRussell Sage Foundation
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781610445436
ISBN (Print)9780871548771
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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