9 Ways Your Emotions Influence Your Judgments

 / 

,
Ways your Emotions Influence Judgments

Did you know that your emotions influence judgments and the way you think? Your actions and how you deal with certain situations is related to how you feel. Let’s take a closer look at emotions and decision making.

Individual decisions are best understood as the interactions between reason and emotion. When we are calm, slow rational thinking guides our decisions. However, strong emotions place a constraint on clear thinking.

For example, before an unpleasant encounter, you may decide to keep your cool. However, when provoked to anger, you lash out without pausing to consider the consequences.

Our emotional reactions to our daily decisions may be useful in directing our attention toward what matters the most. But, strong feelings may lead us to make unwise decisions.

Here are nine ways your emotions influence judgments

1. A narrow mindset. 

Strong feelings (e.g., anger, fear, or craving) create a kind of “tunnel vision.” For instance, anger narrows attention such that current feelings, thoughts, impulses would be given extra weight, whereas future goals, ambitions, or plans seem less consequential.

2. Jumping to conclusions. 

9 Ways Your Emotions Influence Judgments

A worried person is motivated to reduce uncertainty and eliminate discomfort. The decision is guided by a selective information search, limited consideration of alternatives, and rapid evaluation of data (e.g., the case of conspiracy theory).

3. Attention bias. 

As William James observed, “what holds attention determines action.” Individuals tend to process information in a manner that is consistent with their views of the world and themselves. For example, a person with low self-esteem is highly sensitive to being ignored by other people, and they constantly monitor for signs that people might not like them.

4. Mood-congruent memory. 

Our current emotional state helps recall experiences that had a similar emotional tone. When we are in a happy mood, we tend to recall pleasant events and vice versa. This is because moods bring different associations to mind. For ample, sad music is a powerful trigger for nostalgic memories of foregone times.

5. Emotional contagion. 

We tend to “catch” the emotions (sad or happy) of others when perceiving their emotional expressions. And this process assists us in understanding the feelings of others. For example, when you have a casual conversation with someone anxious, you tend to walk away from the encounter feeling somewhat anxious yourself.

Related: Why Your Emotions Are Not “Things” In Your Brain

6. Background moods. 

Emotions triggered by an event completely unrelated to a new situation can influence our thinking and decisions. For example, on sunnier days, we tend to tip more at restaurants and express higher levels of overall happiness.

7. An urge to blame. 

When we are hurt and angry, we want someone to be blamed (or held responsible) for our pain. We feel superior by blaming others. It pleases our ego to believe that any bad event is someone else’s fault.

8. Time perception.

Time estimates can be distorted by our emotions. When we are anxiously waiting for something to happen, we experience a slower passage of time. Time flies when you are having fun.

9. Projection bias. 

Typical emotions are essentially transient. What comes up often comes down. However, people tend to mispredict the short duration of emotional response. For example, heartbroken people are unable to anticipate the decay of their emotions. One of the reasons for adolescents’ high risk for suicide is because when they feel pain, they lack the life experience to know it is temporary.

What is the take-home lesson? Certain vulnerable situations tend to trigger impulsive choices. By becoming more aware of our emotions, we experience ourselves as free rather than victims.

If you want to learn more about emotions and decision making, take a look at this video:

9 Ways Your Emotions Influence Judgments

Now that you know your emotions can influence your judgments, the best way to deal with it is by knowing and having an awareness of them. The more you understand your emotions, the better you will get at handling them and can also stop them from controlling you and your life.


Written by Shahram Heshmat
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today
Ways Emotions Influence Judgments pin
Ways your Emotions Influence Judgments pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

“Why Do I Hate Talking On The Phone?”: 7 Signs You Might Be Dealing With Phone Anxiety

Why Do I Hate Talking On The Phone? Signs Of Phone Anxiety

Do you ever find yourself rolling your eyes and letting out an exasperated sigh when your phone starts ringing or buzzing? Do you feel dread at the mere thought of having to make or receive a phone call and try to find out how to avoid talking on the phone? If you’ve ever said these words to yourself, “Why do I hate talking on the phone?” with frustration, you’re not alone.

There are many people out there who feel the same as you, and hate talking on the phone. And it turns out, there’s a very valid reason behind feeling this way, and that’s phone anxiety.

Today, we are going to talk about phone anxiety and the signs you hate talking on the phone, so that the frequency of you asking “why do I hate talking on the phone” lessens. So, are you ready to know more about this? Let’s get started, then.



Up Next

The ‘Sincericide’ Trap: How Being Too Honest Can Backfire

Sincericide: Dangers Of Being Too Honest

In the realm of human interaction, truthfulness is often described as a virtue—a foundation of trust and authenticity. However, there’s a phenomenon called “sincericide,” which denotes the paradoxical act of undermining one’s own sincerity.

Honesty is appreciated, but the idea of “Sincericide” – an oxymoronic pitfall that may lead to undesirable results through too much sincerity.

Trust is built on transparency but it’s also important to know how not to cross the line between being frank and rude.

In this article, we’ll discuss ‘Sincericide’, the secret killer of strong relationships — telling the truth without sugarcoating it. How do you communicate honestly without destroying you



Up Next

What Is The Fox Personality Type? 12 Identifying Traits You Must Know

The Fox Within: Exploring Unique Fox Personality Traits

Have you ever encountered someone who is remarkably clever, creative, and smart? They trust their intuition, remain dynamic, and exude an air of cunningness? Meet the fox personality type, characterized by its sharp mindset and agile disposition. Let’s explore what is the fox personality type and learn to identify fox personality traits.

What is the Fox Personality Type?

The fox personality type refers to individuals who possess qualities commonly associated with wild foxes found in nature: cleverness, adaptability, and resourcefulness. People with a fox personality are known for their sharp intellect, q



Up Next

The 5 ‘Most Argumentative’ Zodiac Signs Who Will Stop At Nothing

The Most Argumentative Zodiac Signs

Do you ever find yourself in heated arguments with people, wondering if there’s something more to it than just a personality clash? Take a look at the most argumentative zodiac signs to know yourself better.

Astrology assigns certain traits and tendencies to different zodiac signs — and when it comes to disagreements, some signs are known to be more argumentative than others.

So let’s dive into the cosmic battleground and reveal the most argumentative zodiac signs.

Related: 6 Most Empathic Zodiac Signs: Are You One of Them?



Up Next

5 Unexpected Benefits of Talking to Strangers: Why It’s Worth Overcoming Your Fear!

Unexpected Benefits of Talking to Strangers

Do you sometimes feel anxious at the idea of talking to strangers? You’re not alone. Most people hesitate to interact with someone they’ve never met due to a fear of awkwardness or rejection.

In a world that can be overwhelmingly social, there’s one kind of communication that seems to stand out above all others, in terms of how scary it can be: Talking to strangers.

Whether it’s saying hello to the person sitting next to you on the bus or mustering up the courage to ask someone new at a party what they do for a living, many individuals fear these moments.

But what if I told you that those uncomfortable exchanges contain within them some tremendous benefits of talking to strangers?

Consider your relationships as a web. The



Up Next

12 Surprising Benefits Of Talking To Yourself Every Day: Tuning Into Self-Talk, Unapologetically!

Amazing Benefits of Talking to Yourself

Ever talked to yourself? Ever told yourself whether you are right or wrong? Ever gave yourself some much-needed advice? Of course, you have. Most of us talk to ourselves as self-talk is one of the best ways to reflect and gain clarity. But are there any benefits of talking to yourself?

Perhaps you’ve whispered words of encouragement before a big presentation or voiced out your thoughts while working through a challenging problem. It is always fun to talk to the most captivating person in the room – yourself! 

You trust yourself, you always have your best interests at heart and you always keep your own secrets. Talking to yourself is undoubtedly the best conversation you will ever have. But is self-talk a bit weird? Or is it actually good for you?

Yes, it might seem a



Up Next

4 Ways To Find Greater Fulfillment In Life

Finding Greater Fulfillment In Life: Ways To Achieve That

Living a fulfilling and purposeful life is one of the most underrated mindsets and skills to have. But what are the best ways you can go about finding fulfillment in life? Let’s find out, shall we?

Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, theologian, and poet is considered by many to be the father of existentialism.

His work focuses on individual experience and the importance of personal choice and commitment, and his philosophy offers insights into living authentically and finding fulfillment amidst the distractions and pressures of the modern world.

In the course of Kierkegaard’s writings, instructive themes emerge for how to navigate life’s complexities with integrity and purpose. Here are four.