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Games 2017, 8(2), 22; doi:10.3390/g8020022

Emotions and Behavior Regulation in Decision Dilemmas

1
Department of Economics, Lafayette College, 730 High St, Easton, PA 18042, USA
2
Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ulrich Berger
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract

We introduce a dynamic model of emotional behavior regulation that can generalize to a wide range of decision dilemmas. Dilemmas are characterized by availability of mutually exclusive goals that a decision maker is dually motivated to pursue. In our model, previous goal pursuant decisions produce negative emotions that regulate an individual’s propensity to further pursue those goals at future times. This emotional regulation of behavior helps explain the non-stationarity and switching observed between so-called “preferences” revealed in repeated decision dilemmas (e.g., by choosing A over B at time 1, then choosing B over A at time 2). We also explain how behavior regulation under dilemma conditions is affected by the set of available options and how the strength and decay rate of emotions affect the tendency to choose behaviors pursuant of extremely (rather than moderately) different options over time. We discuss how emotional behavior regulation insights provided by our model can extend to a variety of topics including approach and avoidance, temptation and self-control, moral balancing, impulse buying and shopping momentum, dieting and exercise, work and leisure, sleep regulation, cooperation, and competition. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-control; behavior regulation; decision; dilemma; emotion; dynamic choice self-control; behavior regulation; decision; dilemma; emotion; dynamic choice
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gómez-Miñambres, J.; Schniter, E. Emotions and Behavior Regulation in Decision Dilemmas. Games 2017, 8, 22.

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