affective design

Exploring Emotional Design

Emotions Dominate Decision-Making

An article on USA Today discusses how a study in the field of neuroeconomics is offering some confirmination of recent observations by neuroscientists regarding emotion’s dominant role in the brain’s decision-making process… The study used brain-imaging to map the active portions of subject’s brains while they were asked questions framed to provoke emotional responses. Everyone who participated displayed emotional biases.

According to Damasio,

“The brain stores emotional memories of past decisions, and those are what drive people’s choices in life.”

A recent increase in research centered around understanding emotions may be due, in part, to the realization that irrational impulses control buying and selling decisions. This revelation has fostered the study of neuroeconomics.

In this view, even the decisions that seem to be made intellectually are actually decided emotionally. Being rational is merely positively “tempering” one’s emotions rather than suppressing them. It’s a way of thinking about emotion that takes some getting used to, but seems quite obvious when carefully considered.

For more on emotions and decision-making see:

Retailers Use Emotions for Persuasion
Pain, Pleasure and Purchase Decisions
Positive Emotions Foster Creativity
Unconscious, Emotional Decisions?
Purchase Decisions are Based on Emotional Meaning
2. The Influence of Emotional Affect

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  1. […] Emotions Dominate Decision-Making. […]