Journal article
It was intuitive, and it felt good: A daily diary study on how people feel when making decisions

Publication Details
Zander-Schellenberg, T.; Remmers, C.; Zimmermann, J.; Thommen, S.; Lieb, R.
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Cognition & emotion
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In daily life, people make plenty of decisions, either intuitively or based on analysis. So far, research has examined when decision-making leads to correct or biased outcomes. In the present study, we adopted a different perspective and explored how decision-making is associated with how people feel. In an observational study, 134 healthy participants retrospectively reported on six evenings which decisions they had made during that day (total N = 3,850 decisions). They were also asked to indicate how they had felt before/after each decision. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that (a) people reported having felt better prior to intuitive as compared to analytical decisions, (b) people reported having felt better after as compared to before the decision, and (c) this increase in positive feeling was more pronounced for intuitive decisions. The latter two associations were robust to statistically controlling for the life domain in which the decisions occurred, the decisions' importance and ease, and daily mood. The retrospective design and the single-item measure of mood are among the limitations of this study. Altogether, the results are in line with the idea that making everyday life decisions intuitively makes people feel good.

Last updated on 2020-08-11 at 17:49