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Judgement and Decision Making

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Judgement and Decision Making

Hello and welcome, Let us continue our discussion about various effects on cognition various effects of emotionsand mood states on different aspects of cognition we have talked in this week already abouteffects on attention and memory.We have also talked in this week about say for example, how can different kind of emotionalstates affect encoding and how well or how much you recall this information.In the last lecture we also talked a little bit about the amygdala and how the amygdalais important in a processing emotions and how does the amygdala actually get involvedin both at the time of learning and at the time of recall of emotionally relevant information.So, let us continue this in the today's lecture I will start talking a little bit about theeffects of a mood or emotional state on the factors of judgment and decision making.Now, decision making and we have done this chapter on decision making weeks ago and so,decision making as you all know involves choosing among different alternatives.So, you presented with so many different alternatives and you have to choose which one of the youknow alternatives is most correct for you know the maximum utility or say for example,what makes sense at that point in time and there are different and you know possiblereasons that you would make these choices.So, one of the things one of the reasons we make choices because of is a one of the becausewe are kind of judging the likelihood of these various kinds of events that might occur andthen we judge how will we feel if you are given a choice between you know buying 2 setsof clothes or say for example, there are 2 bikes that you want to choose from or sayfor example, there are a couple of people you are kind of you know you want to choosefrom that whom who will make me feel happier if I were married to this person or somethinglike that.So, the ideas we are constantly making these judgments you are constantly trying to predictthe future we constantly trying to not only predict future events, but more importantlywe are constantly trying to predict how will we feel if those events were to occur, thatis the that is basically the core of the discussion today we will try and see what happens ifpeople predict that if this happens and I will be happy should I make this choice oron the other hand if this happens I will think I will be sad I do not want to lose moneyI do not want to make this bad guess so, probably let us not do it.So, the idea is the this calculation that people make about what is going to happenif such an event were to occur basically you know influences and plays a major role andthe kinds of decision they would make and the way they would make these decisions.So, let us talk a little bit more about these things, now of particular importance to decisionmaking is the fact that whether our judgments about the future are pessimistic or optimisticwhether we are looking at future in a more positive favorable picture or we are kindof a thinking that you know the future is bleak it is dark I do not think somethinggood is going to happen I mean I have been suffering and this this and I do not thinkreally I am going to come out of it.Now, if these kind of a judgments are there how will this really happen.So, people kind of are making these judgments all the time you know whether I will be happy,if this happens whether I will be sad if this happens, how happy will I be, how sad willI be, all of these kind of judgments all of these kind of calculations are happening.Now here comes in the mood state things.So, the mood states the mood that you are in certainly influences your attitudes a towardsrisk taking and your attitudes towards predicting the future.So, and this kind of this will certainly affects the kind of decision that you will end upmaking.So, this is very important for many people predict that individuals experiencing manyresearchers a lot of a evidence is there that individuals expressing negative effect willtend to be slightly more pessimistic in their adjustments and they will be a risk averse.So, if you are kind of you know in a very sad state if you are kind of in a very dejectedsort of a thing you not really feel good and somebody ask you what is going to happen itis kind of likely that you will come up with you know I think things are not going to turnbetter from here.So, they will also be in that sense because the kind of a thinking that the future isbleak and it is dark and I do not know what is going to happen, they will also be veryaverse to taking risky decisions they will not make decisions that could be risky andthis is very interesting because this is kind of in some sense that the idea is that ifyou kind of are in a sad state and you are looking at the future that is going to besad it is kind of is possible that the future is sad because you are not really lookingup at other positive possibilities are not really opening up.And that is just aside from this course because a lot of things that you learn in this courseis very important to really apply them in your thought processes and use that knowledgeI mean the kind of research that I am discussing try and kind of a link yourself to it or youknow link your lives to it.Coming back so, people have predicted research has predicted that individuals experiencingnegative effect will tend to be more pessimistic in their judgments about the future and theywill be risk our self in contrast individuals in a positive mood state will be very optimisticabout the future.They will be update upbeat, they will be you know having that kind of confidence to makethat leap of faith, they will be having that kind of confident to take risk and those kindof things I will come to that positive emotion is taking in a lecture later, but the experimentalfindings have also shown.They found support for these kind of predictions; obviously, there are in a research a lot oftimes you will come up across with those findings as well which do not fit your hypothesis,but more on that later.Now, let us talk a little bit about the effect of a anxiety as one of the emotions on judgmentand decision making.Now anxiety I think everybody must have experienced different degrees of anxiety at differentpoints in their lives.So, anxiety is associated with concerns and worries about future threats people who areanxious are generally kind of fidgety they are not very really very confident and sureabout what is going to turn out they are kind of constantly worried constantly wonderingabout what is going to happen next.So, Eyesenck says that anxiety is associated with concerns and worries about future threatsand they basically in a recent study in 2006, Eyesenck and colleagues they use scenariosreferring to very negative events you know serious illnesses deaths and breakups thosekind of things and the event in question they asked them to basically you know they comein a encounter scenarios about these events and the events in question could be eithera past event that has already happened think about that, a future possible event that thismight happen to you or a future probable event that may be this will happen as a future possibleevent and a future probable event.Now, participants indicated that they would have experienced more anxiety with the futureevents occurring both possible and probable than with the past events, thus indicatingin some sense the future orientation of anxiety people are generally a very anxious aboutthe future what is there in store for me and those kind of things in contrast people reportedmore depression or sadness when they were talking about events that had negative eventsthat had passed on.So, the past negative events kind of provoked some kind of anxiety as some kind of sadnessas opposed to anxiety.So, this is a interesting contrast between anxiety being more future oriented and sadnessin some sense let us say slightly being past oriented.Let us say this is a good you know a piece of result that you could you know rememberand stick on to, now as anxiety involves worrying about future threats it is not really surprisingto find out that it is associated with pessimistic judgments or the future to great extent thanany other negative emotion or any other emotional state for that matter.Now, Lerner and colleagues in 2003 they asked participants very shortly after the terroristattacks of 9 11 to focus on aspects of those attacks that made them afraid angry or sad,what happens is, what anxiety is, that the key finding is that those participants whofocus on what made them afraid anxious estimated the probability of the future attacks to bemuch greater than those participants who focused on the you know that were in the other 2 groupsthat focused on the other 2 kinds of things angry or sad emotions .Now, on the contrary and as that is also a bit interesting if you look at people aroundyou most people report at having what is a referred to as the optimistic bias you knowwith accidents whether you know thefts with the that you know this could happen, peopledo a reflect what is referred to as the optimistic bias you know this involves an exaggeratedlikelihood of positive events happening to them in the near future and minimizing thepossibility or a likelihood of these a negative events.Say for example, you know people who are not you know wearing helmet.So, people who are smoking or drinking too much if you ask them you know I mean thereare a hazards associate to do these things and you would most likely tell you that youknow this is not going to happen to me I drive very well I am not really prone to fallingdown or you know meeting an accident so on and so forth.And even say for example, you can take it to any kind of addictive addiction that peoplehave now this optimistic bias you know seems to occur almost automatically and still foundin people when they are you know offered rewards for making accurate predictions even whenyou ask them that you know the you know just cut down all this optimism from your judgmentand just basically you know you we are going to give you some reward if you make the mostaccurate prediction even when they are actually consciously trying to make accurate predictionsthey would sometimes you know reflect this kind of optimistic bias.Now, Lench and Levine in 2005 they wanted to study the optimistic bias.So, they basically asked college students you know whether various positive and negativeevents or more likely to happen to them than another average college student and they basicallyalso induced particular kinds of mood states in the in these people while they were tomake these judgments, participants that were put into a more fearful mood were found tobe much less optimistic about future events then those were put in a positive mood.So, positive mood people basically or happy or neutral mood people basically did not didshow that you know optimism thing, but those people who are put in a more fearful moodanxious mood they basically they were very less optimistic about the kind of future eventsthat might occur to them again you know converging evidence is the one that we were talking.Now, let us talk about the relationship between anxiety and decision making, anxiety is generallyassociated with impaired decision making I mean you would have heard it.So, many times that you know you should not really be anxious do not worry about it.So, much just cool yourself relax yourself and then make this decision you know peoplekeep saying all sorts of things around you and a lot of times those things are commonsensically.So, clear that even experimental evidence would support that kind of things.Now, a Starcke and colleagues in 2008 they found that anxious participants had worseperformance than neutral controls on a decision making task that required the use of variousexecutive processes.So, we have referred very briefly to executive process I think in the bilingualism thingthings like response inhibition things like shifting of responses weighing particularresponses controlling things in you know inhibiting particular trains of thought.So, on those tasks the game of dice where basically you know required the use of theseexecutive processes anxious participants performed much worse.And they actually continued this study they took this further in 2011 and they actuallyfound that decision making on the task was worse when participants performed an additionaltask that are also more taxing on their executive processes.So, it kind of seems that anxiety is in some way linked to the executive processes as wellthere are various reasons, why anxiety could impair decision making though one of the mainreasons is that anxiety impairs the efficiency with which these executive functioning executivefunctions are used during the calm you know during the performance of complex cognitivetasks.So, again more evidence about the fact that anxiety is linked to these various executiveprocesses.So, this is this is again one of the evidences that says that anxious people will probablybe slightly poor or slightly worse in making a particular kind of complex decisions.Also on the other hand anxiety has typically associated with avoidance of risky decisionmaking anxious people as I was saying earlier are slightly pessimistic in their view aboutthe future and in that sense they are more conservative in making decisions.They would avoid taking risky decisions, Maner and colleagues in 2007 they made use of acomputer based a balloon task and what they were to do is they were to fill the balloonto an extent that it does not break, but then only the I mean those people will be rewardedwhose balloons were most filled up.Anxious individuals in this task were the most risk averse they did not take a chanceand then the non anxious ones and the view of they generally view of the balloon muchlesser to avoid the balloon breaking up.So, again you see another example of them avoiding the research the risky scenariosLorian and Grisham in 2011 they also wanted to study risk taking in patients sufferingfrom various anxiety disorders.So, they basically these patients were made to complete a domain specific risk takingscale and the scale basically consists of around thirty items which assesses the individuals'likelihood of engaging in various risky activities.Suppose for example, what is the likelihood that you would you know bet your entire salaryin a casino or what is the possibility that say for example, you will go and commit thisthing or you will go and do that or all the risk taking scenarios in some sense overallwhat they found was patients with social phobia and generalized anxiety, disorder had muchlower risk taking scores than the control group or the group which was not sufferingfrom any particularly emotional disorder.Now, moving slightly further very interesting study was done by Raghunathan and Pham in1999 and what they basically asked was they asked the participants to decide whether toaccept a job A and now job A was characterized with a very high salary, but low job securityor job B which is characterized by average salary kind of a salary, but very high jobsecurity.So, participants in an anxious mood state were a much less likely I mean they were muchless likely than those in a neutrally mood state to choose the high risk job that wasjob A the numbers are like only 32 percent of anxious participants chose job a versus56 persons of a neutral mood state participants chose job A.Now, Shiv and colleagues in a in a different study around the same topic, Shiv and colleaguesin 2005 they wanted to test the hypothesis that people were damage to emotional processingareas of the brain might actually perform better than healthy controls on these gamblingtasks.So, they based the underlying idea is probably that because anxiety is linked with wanderingabout the future and wondering about the future is an emotional task maybe if there are individualswhose emotional processing is deficient in a particular manner because of brain injuryor something.They might be able to actually do the gambling task slightly better I mean they will notbe.So, much more a worried and stuff like that .Now, these people decided to test the hypothesis in a study involving 3 groups.So, there was one group who had damage to the emotional processing areas of the brainamygdala the orbitofrontal cortex and the somatosensory cortex and the other group ofpatients were a one group of patients had brain damage in different areas, but not inthe areas concerned with emotion and then there is this third group with healthy controlparticipants you know the intact brain people.Now, participants this is a very interesting task.So, participles are given around dollar 20 to begin with and they are told that you knowyou have to kind of on the basis of a coin flip decide whether or not to invest thisdollar 1, the idea is that if it came ahead they would kind of use dollar 1, but if itcame tails they would win dollar 1.5.So, the idea is if you assume a 50 50 percent chance if they are investing 20 out of 20times they would still end up gaining 25 cents for each time they have invested which youcan multiply that by 10 giving a 50 percent probability.So, technically the best strategy would for them to would be to basically just go on investingyou know continuously . Now, as predicted patients with the braindamage and emotion region and a emotional regions of the brain outperform the 2 groupsthey were not really making any emotional things they are not really wondering aboutwhat is going to happen if I lose this money and stuff they probably did a very cognitivecalculation a calculative thing and it is performed very well than both the other groups.While all the groups were willing to invest when they had one on the previous hand.So, all the groups if you have won it kind of puts you in a temporary emotion you knowpositive emotional state.So, even patients with a less emotion with you know a damage to a non emotionally werewilling to a bet neutral people were the intact people were willing to bet and anyway so otherpeople were anyways willing to bet because they might have worked out those probabilities.Now, however, the groups differed substantially in their investment behavior if they had loston your previous.So, the difference kind of comes that if you have lost something right.Now how are you going to appraise the future patients with damage to the emotional areasof the brain were far more likely than those in the other 2 groups to invest in these circumstancesas well so, even if I have lost this hand even if I lost 1 dollar right away, but inbroad I probably will eventually end up winning.So, these people are not really doing any emotional calculates see winning and losingis not really only about money it is also about how you will feel.And people who have this you know interact emotion processing areas these 2 groups wouldprobably have engaged in this kind of thing how bad or good I will feel if I will use.So, these people in that sense in those calculations were slightly less likely to make the investmentwhile these people who have damaged brain damage in the emotional areas of the brainare not really engaging in this kind of emotional counterfactual thinking and they are justlike investing in even though circumstances on whether they have won or whether they havelost in the previous hand.So, this is a very interesting result and it kind of is happening that the you knowanxiety created by the loss is deterring the individuals from taking these risky decisionsexcept in the case of a people with brain damage to the emotional areas of the brain.So, that is again very very interesting in you know in some sense reinforcing thing.Now, De Martino and colleagues did a similar study and they were studying loss aversioninto women and both of these women had a extensive damage to their amygdala.So, they are probably deficient add processing and comprehending emotions and the key findingwas that neither of the 2 women showed any evidence of loss aversion their emotionalprocessing areas are damaged, the there is no sense of loss aversion in them, even ifthey are losing or winning they are kind of continuing in the gambling task.As the authors concluded it seems that amygdala probably acts as a cautionary break you knowit kind of tells you that this is the permutation and combination this is how you will feel,if you win this is how you will feel, if you lose and you make the judgment.If the amygdala is damaged nobody is doing these calculations for you and you are probablyyou know just going on with your handshake maybe I will display again maybe I will playagain . So, while it kind of establishes that anxietyis associated with this aversion the why part is not really very clear there is there isnot a lot of results about, why anxiety should be doing this.So, there could be 2 possible factors, first is that yes an anxious individuals are reluctantto make risky decisions because anyways they are more pessimistic about the, you know futurethan the non anxious individuals.The other thing is that you know anxiety is an aversive of mood state and so, individualsare continuously seeking ways of reducing anxiety what could be these ways that peoplelook at reducing anxiety the there is one clue that I will offer and then you can kindof a make these judgments.So, it is known that high levels of situational uncertainty increases anxiety, now the factorsin betting scenarios on in gambling scenarios there is; obviously, this heavy degree ofcertainty.So, what people might be doing is they might be going with the safest bet when they canpredict the outcome very well they will if I have not invested I am 100 percent surethat I am not going to lose.If I am investing I am not really that sure.So, maybe and you know there is this so the notion is maybe these people are trying tomake their environments more predictable, a very interesting study was done by Sarinopoulosand colleagues in 2010 they were studying the brain activity indicative of stress andanxiety in response to aversive pictures you know unpleasant pictures.There was greater brain activity found when participants were uncertain about whetheran aversive picture is going to come next or a neutral picture is going to come.So, this uncertainty is showing greater brain activity regions in like amygdala etceteraand this could be one of the reasons why these people are so risk averse why they do notwant to take any risks in the first place.So, reducing uncertainty is; obviously, a way of you know is possible by making lowrisk decisions and is it is a really effective way of reducing anxiety and people who areanxious are constantly trying to come out of that anxiety.So, this is a little bit about how anxiety might be you know affecting peoples decisionmaking we have done 3 lectures in the week we will continue talking about cognition andemotion in the next lecture.Thank you .