The role of emotion in decision making when information is framed positively and negatively

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2019
Thesis identifier
  • T15373
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201281382
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Human decision-making is subject to a number of cognitive biases. One of the first biases to be identified is the way information in a decision problem is framed. It is now widely recognized that when information is framed positively (i.e. in terms of gains), people make risk-averse choices, whereas when information is framed negatively (i.e. in terms of losses), people make risk-seeking choices. Information framing is one of the most studied cognitive biases and its effects have been observed in decision problems ranging from medicine and finance to terrorism. More recently, researchers have focused on the role of emotion in the decision-making process. The purpose of this research was to investigate the role of emotion on the effects of information framing. To do this, I developed a technology-related information-framing problem about the reliability of internet service providers. Having observed strong information framing effects in my technology-related problem, I used Lerner et al.'s (2015) Emotion Imbued Choice (EIC) model to investigate the effects of integral and incidental emotions. Contrary to the predictions of the EIC, I found that the characteristics of options (in this case, positively framed or negatively framed information) did not affect integral emotions. In order to investigate the effects of incidental emotions, I developed a method to induce participants with fear and happiness by using the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Consistent with the predictions of the EIC, I found that incidental emotions can moderate the effects of information framing (e.g.higher levels of incidental fear can lead participants to make risk-averse choices when information is framed negatively, even though negatively framed information usually leads to risk-seeking choices). The main theoretical contribution in this thesis comes from an amended EIC model that takes into consideration the effects of information framing. Other researchers could also use the method I used to induce emotions using the IAPS. This method was found to induce emotions more reliably than some existing methods, and as it does not involve language production, can be used with mixed-cultural and cross-cultural samples. There are also several practical implications of my research, which I consider in this thesis.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Revie, Matthew
  • Baum, Tom
  • Burns, Calvin
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2019
Former identifier
  • 9912770490702996
Embargo Note
  • The electronic version of this thesis is currently under moratorium due to copyright restrictions. If you are the author of this thesis, please contact the Library to resolve this issue.