Project Bless

The Research Group FOR 1410 was funded by the DFG from 2010 to 2017. All projects have been completed.

The impact of affective and cognitive feelings on decision making

Our project addresses the role of affective and cognitive feelings in decision making. Feelings may influence decision making processes in various ways. First, feelings can enter directly into the decision by exerting an influence on the estimation and evaluation of the value or probability component (affect heuristic, mood as information). Second, feelings may determine the amount of allocated resources (heuristic vs. systematic processing). Third, feelings can influence the abstraction level on which the decision situation is represented. Primarily focusing on the latter aspect, prior research on how affective feelings regulate the abstraction level will be linked to recent theorizing about the level of construal. Moreover, prior theorizing on the informative function of affective feelings will be extended to cognitive feelings. The assumption is that by providing information about the problematic or non- problematic nature of the current situation, feelings trigger different levels of construal. Based on research on Construal Level Theory, we assume that different levels of representation in turn lead to a differential impact of desirability, feasibility, pros and cons, (idealistic) values versus attitudes, etc. on decision making, and thus impact classic phenomena observed in decision making (e.g., sunk cost bias).


Prof. Dr. Herbert Bless

Department of Microsociology and Social Psychology, University of Mannheim

Tel: +49 (0) 621-181-2007

Personal Homepage

Dr. Axel Burger

Department of Microsociology and Social Psychology, University of Mannheim

Tel: +49 (0) 621-181-2008

Personal Homepage

Student Research Assistents:

Fabienne Unkelbach

Willi Weisflog

Lisa Nagel

Research groupPublicationsLabActivitiesSummer School 2015Small Group Meeting 2017