In a previous post on how mood affects your reaction to brands you know (see You Are Most Affected By Brands And Logos When You Are Sad And Scared), I talked about the research from Marieke de Vries of Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. De Vries also did research on two types of decision making: a trusting -your- gut intuitive method vs. following a logical, deliberative decision-making process of weighing alternatives and thinking through pros and cons. De Vries was interested in whether one method of decision-making was better than another, and also whether your mood affected the outcome of the decision.
When to use deliberative decision-making — Research by Dijksterhuis shows that when you have simple decision to make you make better decisions when you use a logical deliberative method.
When to use intuitive decision-making – Research by Shiv shows that when you have a complicated decision to make, you make better decisions when you use an intuitive or “gut” method.
Where does mood fit in? — De Vries went further with the research to see if mood had an effect, and found that when you are in a happy mood you rely on your gut instincts more, AND the outcome is that you make better decisions. When you are in a sad mood you rely on your logical decision making AND you make better decisions as a result.
Take-aways — If you are in a good mood and/or are making a complicated decision it is best to trust your intuition. If you are in a bad mood and/or are making a simple decision then use a more deliberative process.
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