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Title: The development and testing of an emotion-enabled, structured decision-making procedure
Author: Arnaud, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 731X
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2010
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Two contrasting forms of advice for decision-makers are to either follow one’s heart (emotions) or one’s head (reason). This is a false dichotomy – but how should decision-makers combine heart and head? Decisions can be fruitfully analysed as a set of components: a decision-problem embedded within an on-going situation, with values-at-stake, possible options-with-consequences, choice, action and review. Structured decision-making models (head theories) approach this multifaceted nature of decisions by a divide-and-conquer strategy with thinking tasks provided to help decision-makers clarify the decision-problem, identify important values-at-stake, find credible options, choose the most credible option, act effectively and fairly review the outcomes of the choice. Emotions are complex and can also fruitfully be analysed as a set of components: an appraisal of a situation’s implication for the actor’s goals and values, bodily and cognitive changes, phenomenological experience and desires. Emotions can both help and hinder decision making, so wise decision-makers should neither ignore nor rely upon emotions, but instead treat emotions as fallible resources. The complex nature of emotions implies that different emotion-enabled tasks might assist decision-makers for different components of the decision. On the basis of this analysis an emotion-enabled, structured, decision-making procedure was developed and investigated by taking ten participants with decision dilemmas through the procedure. This investigation, based on repeated use of the Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design, provided some initial support for the effectiveness of the model: participants found the procedure generally helpful (p < 0.005), had increased confidence in their final choice (p < 0.005), which at follow-up they were satisfied with (p < 0.005). The use of emotions as fallible resources was also investigated through tracing emotion-enabled changes in participants’ decision making. Suggestions for further development and investigation of integrating emotions into structured approaches are offered.
Supervisor: Smith, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Affect ; Rationality ; Wisdom ; Intuition ; Decision Aiding