The Valence-based approach versus Cognitive Appraisal Models of Emotion
As already mentioned above, there are two main theories that try to explain the role of emotions in JDM: emotional valence and cognitive appraisal models. Both investigate the effects emotions can have on information processing and consequently on choice and judgment. Therefore, they classify emotions in a certain way (for review see Bachkirov 2015; Lerner, Li, Valdesolo & Kassam 2015).
In the valence-based approach emotions are classified according to their valence, i.e. the positive versus negative feelings state. Happiness may serve as an example of the first one, and anger as one for the second group. The theory posits that it is valence that causes changes in cognition and then results in various effects on JDM (Bachkirov 2015; Lerner & Keltner 2000). As it is a general approach towards affect, specific emotions and their specific effects on judgement and choice are not looked at. Rather, emotions of the same valence, like, for example, happiness and pride, are assumed to have similar effects (Lerner, Li, Valdesolo & Kassam 2015) and the question of whether two emotions of the same valence might effectuate different outcomes is mostly ignored (Lerner & Keltner …show more content…
One of them is called “affect-as-information theory” and should serve as one example explanation for the impacts of valence on JDM here. Schwarz and Clore (2003) conducted experiments with individuals being either in a sad or happy mood. Finding that sadness, a negatively-valenced emotion, led to more systematic information processing while happiness, a positively-valenced emotion, resulted in heuristic processing, they posited the following: Moods reflect people’s (felt) environment. Therefore, being in a positive mood may signal a mild and kind environment whereas a negative feelings state might signal problems or a stressful situation. As a result, when individuals feel positive, they feel that there is no need for sophisticated processing; instead, they believe engaging in more heuristic thinking strategies and relying on information already obtained earlier is sufficient (see above). On the other hand, negative feelings states may signal something like “My goals are being threatened!” and thus let the brain know that more detailed processing is needed. All in all, this theory can therefore be summarized as one that sees the environment as responsible for the different processing strategies and ascribes valence the mediating signaling