Choice Protection for Feeling-Focused Decisions

J Exp Psychol Gen. 2020 Jan 16. doi: 10.1037/xge0000735. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Whether guided by feelings or deliberation, most decisions entail selecting an option and then living with it. Beyond simply investigating which option people select and how they evaluate it right away, the present research examines the extended issue of how people think and act in the service of that choice as a function of how they decided in the first place. We propose that reliance on feelings over deliberation in making an initial decision will strengthen postchoice protection of chosen options against threats. Seven studies provide evidence that feeling-focused deciders prove more mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally staunch in their defense of chosen options in response to a range of different campaigns against them. Together, a focus on feelings emerges as a decision strategy with broad relevance for the extended issue of how decision makers navigate the postchoice course. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).