Affective states of the same valence may have distinct, yet predictable, influences on decision processes. Results from three experiments show that, in gambling decisions, as well as in jobselection decisions, sad individuals are biased in favor of highrisk/high-reward options, whereas anxious individuals are biased in favor of low-risk/low-reward options. We argue that these biases occur because anxiety and sadness convey distinct types of information to the decision-maker and prime different goals. While anxiety primes an implicit goal of uncertainty reduction, sadness primes an implicit goal of reward replacement. We offer that these motivational influences operate through an active process of feeling monitoring, whereby anxious or sad individuals think about the options and ask themselves, "What would I feel better about . . ."
Raghunathan, Rajagopal, and Michel Tuan Pham. "All Negative Moods Are Not Equal: Motivational Influences of Anxiety and Sadness in Decision Making." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 71, no. 1 (July 1999): 56-77.
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