The diagnosticity of feelings in judgment depends not only on their representativeness and relevance, but also on people's trust in their feelings in general. Trust in feelings is the degree to which individuals believe that their feelings generally point toward the "right" direction in judgments and decisions. Six studies show that a higher trust in feelings (a) increases the reliance on feelings as a judgment criterion, (b) amplifies the influence of ad-induced feelings in persuasion, (c) magnifies the ratio bias in risky choice, and (d) increases the rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game. Further, (e) when feelings are highly relevant, they are relied upon regardless of the level of trust, whereas when feelings have low relevance, they are relied upon only if people trust them. Finally, (f) assessments of trust in feelings require significant processing resources. A refined model of feelings as information is advanced based on these findings.
Avnet, Tamar, Michel Tuan Pham, and Andrew T. Stephen. "Consumers' Trust in Feelings as Information." Journal of Consumer Research 39 (December 2012): 720-735.
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