Emotions, Risk, and Information Processing: A Matter of Distance?
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- Master of Science 
Emotions play an important role in shaping judgements and decisions involving risk. More recently, researchers have paid more attention to different ways in which people can manage their emotions, and how this in turn affects their decisions. The present thesis examined how reappraisal – a general strategy of emotion regulation – moderates the influence of fear and anger on risk-taking and information processing. The thesis examined a specific tactic of reappraisal known as psychological distancing. Participants were asked to recall and describe an emotional event (fear vs. anger) from either an immersed or distant perspective. Next, participants completed a risky decision-making task (the Iowa Gambling Task). As predicted, anger increased risk-taking behavior, while fear decreased risk-taking. Importantly, this pattern of results was only found among participants who adopted an immersed perspective, while recalling an emotional event. Interestingly, the effects of fear and anger reversed among the participants who adopted distant perspective. Finally, distancing also moderated the effect of emotions on information processing, such that distancing reduced the positive effect of emotion on intuitive processing. The results, implications and limitations are discussed.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2021