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Meeting Abstract

The Role of Emotions in Probability Evaluations


Schulz,  E
Research Group Computational Principles of Intelligence, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bertram, L., Nelson, J., & Schulz, E. (2020). The Role of Emotions in Probability Evaluations. In Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society (pp. 193). Austin, TX, USA: Psychonomic Society.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-350D-0
Information about the probability of an event is a fundamental component of our everyday life and affects how certain we feel when making a decision or predicting the future. Often, probabilistic uncertainty is communicated as risk, for example when a tracking app tells us about our risk of being infected with COVID-19. Previous research has demonstrated that risk perceptions are affected by emotional states: emotion-specific appraisal patterns, among them uncertainty appraisals, influence evaluations of risk and modulate risk reducing behaviour. At the core of risks are probabilities and evaluating probability distributions is fundamental to assessing risks. Yet, how emotions affect people’s basic evaluations of probabilities is an open question. I present research on a) the relationship between anxiety, subjective evaluations of uncertainty and quantitative estimates of neutral probabilistic events during the Coronavirus-pandemic and b) people’s evaluations of probabilistic uncertainty (entropy) in different experimentally induced emotional states (anxiety, pride and anger).