The influence of emotions on cognitive processing, and the importance of retrospective evaluations
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- Master of Science 
The present thesis examines how emotions influence cognitive processing in decision-making, and how people evaluate their emotions and cognitive processing retrospectively. Emotions may determine whether intuitive or analytical processing is utilized in a decision-making context. In addition, this study takes on an explorative approach and discusses different theory regarding heuristic biases that occur during self-reporting of both emotions and cognitive processing. As a result of this, different time windows reflecting theory were defined and applied to the data analysis. Further, emotions are explained in terms of arousal and valence, thus physiological and self-reported arousal measures were obtained from 153 subjects. In line with previous research, the self-reported arousal data showed that emotionally induced arousal is predicted by a summarized average, whereas self-reports of cognitive processing are subject to primacy effects. The results also showed a significant influence of arousal on analytical processing. In sum, our results provide an insight into how people evaluate past experiences and strengthens existing research that emotions affect cognitive processing, and thereby decision-making. Our findings and practical implications, future research and limitations are also discussed.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017