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Gut or head. Mood-regulating effects of (intuitive) everyday decisions (BOK)

People make a number of decisions in everyday life - either after careful consideration or intuitively, i.e. "from the gut". So far, psychological research has mainly focused on exploring the question when an intuitive versus analytical approach leads to objectively correct or distorted decisional outcomes. In everyday life, however, there are often no criteria for the "correctness" of a decision - people are more likely to ask themselves how they feel about the decision, how satisfied they are with it. In this respect the assumption suggests that making decisions not only serves the achievement of goals by choosing the "best" option, but also influences how people feel after a decision. Based on this idea, we are interested in exploring whether gut versus head decisions differ in terms of their effects on mood and well-being. In the gut or head study, respondents share their everyday life decisions with us on a website and log in each time a decision is due. Following an experimental procedure, it is randomly determined whether participants are asked to take the respective decision intuitively or analytically. It is investigated what effect intuitive vs. analytical everyday decisions have on mood, feelings of rightness, or satisfaction and how the respective decision mode affects the implementation of a decision and whether these effects are influenced by depression or anxiety.


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Zander-Schellenberg, T.*, Remmers, C.*, Zimmermann, J., Thommen, S., & Lieb, R. (in press). It was intuitive, and it felt good: A daily diary study on how people feel when making decisions. Cognition & Emotion.   

*shared first authorship