Three strategies to make difficult decisions easier
Have you ever felt that it is easier to solve other people’s problems than your own?
PhD Candidate - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Mayiwar, Lewend & Björklund, Fredrik (2021)
A growing line of research has shown that individuals can regulate emotional biases in risky judgment and decision-making processes through cognitive reappraisal. In the present study, we focus on a specific tactic of reappraisal known as distancing. Drawing on appraisal theories of emotion and the emotion regulation literature, we examine how distancing moderates the relationship between fear and risk taking and anger and risk taking. In three pre-registered studies (Ntotal = 1,483), participants completed various risky judgment and decision-making tasks. Replicating previous results, Study 1 revealed a negative relationship between fear and risk taking and a positive relationship between anger and risk taking at low levels of distancing. Study 2 replicated the interaction between fear and distancing but found no interaction between anger and distancing. Interestingly, at high levels of distancing, we observed a reversal of the relationship between fear and risk taking in both Study 1 and 2. Study 3 manipulated emotion and distancing by asking participants to reflect on current fear-related and anger-related stressors from an immersed or distanced perspective. Study 3 found no main effect of emotion nor any evidence of a moderating role of distancing. However, exploratory analysis revealed a main effect of distancing on optimistic risk estimation, which was mediated by a reduction in self-reported fear. Overall, the findings suggest that distancing can help regulate the influence of incidental fear on risk taking and risk estimation. We discuss implications and suggestions for future research.
Tierney, Warren; Hardy, Jay H., Ebersole, Charles R., Leavitt, Keith, Viganola, Domenico, Clemente, Elena Giulia, Gordon, Michael, Dreber, Anna, Johannesson, Magnus, Pfeiffer, Thomas, Uhlmann, Eric Luis, Abraham, Ajay T., Adamkovic, Matus, Adam-Troian, Jais, Anand, Rahul, Arbeau, Kelly J., Awtrey, Eli C., Azar, Ofer H., Bahník, Štěpán, Baník, Gabriel, Barbosa Mendes, Ana, Barger, Michael M., Baskin, Ernest, Bavolar, Jozef, Berkers, Ruud M.W.J., Besco, Randy, Białek, Michał, Bishop, Michael M., Bonache, Helena, Boufkhed, Sabah, Brandt, Mark J., Butterfield, Max E., Byrd, Nick, Caton, Neil R., Ceynar, Michelle L., Corcoran, Mike, Costello, Thomas H., Cramblet Alvarez, Leslie D., Cummins, Jamie, Curry, Oliver S., Daniels, David P., Daskalo, Lea L., Daum-Avital, Liora, Day, Martin V., Deeg, Matthew D., Dennehy, Tara C., Dietl, Erik, Dimant, Eugen, Domurat, Artur, du Plessis, Christilene, Dubrov, Dmitrii, Elsherif, Mahmoud M., Engel, Yuval, Fellenz, Martin R., Field, Sarahanne M., Firat, Mustafa, Freitag, Raquel M.K., Friedmann, Enav, Ghasemi, Omid, Goldberg, Matthew H., Gourdon-Kanhukamwe, Amélie, Graf-Vlachy, Lorenz, Griffith, Jennifer A., Grigoryev, Dmitry, Hafenbrädl, Sebastian, Hagmann, David, Hales, Andrew H., Han, Hyemin, Harman, Jason L., Hartanto, Andree, Holding, Benjamin C., Hopfensitz, Astrid, Hüffmeier, Joachim, Huntsinger, Jeffrey R., Idzikowska, Katarzyna, Innes-Ker, Ase H., Jaeger, Bastian, Jankowsky, Kristin, Jarvis, Shoshana N., Jha, Nilotpal, Jimenez-Gomez, David, Jolles, Daniel, Jozefiakova, Bibiana, Kačmár, Pavol, Šafárik, Jozef, Kappmeier, Mariska, Kasper, Matthias, Keller, Lucas, Knapic, Viktorija, Knutsson, Mikael, Kombeiz, Olga, Kowal, Marta, Krekels, Goedele, Laine, Tei, Lakens, Daniel, Li, Bingjie, Lo, Ronda F., Ludwig, Jonas, Marcus, James C., Marsh, Melvin S., Martinoli, Mario, Martončik, Marcel, Master, Allison, Masters-Waage, Theodore C., Mayiwar, Lewend, Mazei, Jens, McCarthy, Randy J., McCarthy, Gemma S., Mertens, Stephanie, Micheli, Leticia, Miklikowska, Marta, Miron-Shatz, Talya, Montealegre, Andres, Moreau, David, Moret-Tatay, Carmen, Negrini, Marcello, Newall, Philip W.S., Nilsonne, Gustav, Niszczota, Paweł, Nobel, Nurit, O'Mahony, Aoife, Orhan, Mehmet A., O'Shea, Deirdre, Oswald, Flora E., Panning, Miriam, Pantelis, Peter C., Paruzel-Czachura, Mariola, Pedersen, Mogens Jin, Pennycook, Gordon, Plonsky, Ori, Polito, Vince, Price, Paul C., Primbs, Maximilian A., Protzko, John, Quayle, Michael, Rahal, Rima-Maria, Rahman, Md. Shahinoor, Redford, Liz, Reggev, Niv, Reynolds, Caleb J., Roczniewska, Marta, Ropovik, Ivan, Ross, Robert M., Roulet, Thomas J., Rowe, Andrea May, Saccardo, Silvia, Samahita, Margaret, Schaerer, Michael, Schleu, Joyce Elena, Schuetze, Brendan A., Senftleben, Ulrike, Seri, Raffaello, Shtudiner, Zeev, Shuai, Jack, Sin, Ray, Singh, Varsha, Singh, Aneeha, Sokolova, Tatiana, Song, Victoria, Stafford, Tom, Stanulewicz, Natalia, Stevens, Samantha M., Strømland, Eirik André, Stronge, Samantha, Sweeney, Kevin P., Tannenbaum, David, Tepper, Stephanie J., Tey, Kian Siong, Ting, Hsuchi, Tingen, Ian W., Todorovic, Ana, Tse, Hannah M.Y., Tybur, Joshua M., Vineyard, Gerald H., Voslinsky, Alisa, Vranka, Marek A., Wai, Jonathan, Walker, Alexander C., Wallace, Laura E., Wang, Tianlin, Werz, Johanna M., Woike, Jan K., Wollbrant, Conny E., Wright, Joshua D., Wu, Sherry J., Xiao, Qinyu, Yaranon, Paolo Barretto, Yeung, Siu Kit, Yoon, Sangsuk, Yu, Karen, Yucel, Meltem, Ziano, Ignazio, Zultan, Ro'i & Øverup, Camilla S. (2020)
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 161, s. 291- 309. Doi: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2020.07.002
Mayiwar, Lewend & Lai, Linda (2019)
We performed an independent, direct, and better powered (N = 295) replication of Study 1, an experiment (N = 113) by Lammers, Stoker, and Stapel (2009). Lammers and colleagues distinguished between social power (influence over others) and personal power (freedom from the influence of others), and found support for their predictions that the two forms of power produce opposite effects on stereotyping, but parallel effects on behavioral approach. Our results did not replicate the effects on behavioral approach, but partially replicated the effects on stereotyping. Compared to personal power, social power produced less stereotyping, but neither form of power differed significantly from the control condition, and effect sizes were considerably lower than the original estimates. Potential explanations are discussed.
Mayiwar, Lewend & Gramnæs, Katrine (2022)
E24. https://e24.no/shared/karriere-og-ledelse/i/28w4yG/pass [Avis]
Bochynska, Agata; Quintana, Daniel, Mayor, Julien, Leknes, Siri, Roettger, Timo, Mayiwar, Lewend & Kalandadze, Tamara (1)
Forskere ved Universitetet i Oslo, Handelshøyskolen BI og Høgskolen i Østfold har etablert det nasjonale nettverket Norwegian Reproducibility Network (NORRN). NORRN skal bidra til god forskningspraksis i Norge gjennom å fremme og legge til rette for åpenhet og etterprøvbarhet av forskningsresultater.
Mayiwar, Lewend & Hærem, Thorvald (2022)
[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.
Studies have shown that incidental and normatively irrelevant emotions can carry over and bias decisions. However, people respond to and manage their emotions in different ways. Thus, incidental emotional influences might depend on how individuals regulate their emotions. In a preregistered experiment, we examined how the regulation of fear and anger impacts risk-taking and information processing in a task that mimics complexity and uncertainty. Drawing on the appraisal tendency framework, we propose that fear and anger lead to opposite effects on risk-taking and that these effects are moderated by decision makers’ use of a tactic of emotion regulation known as self-distancing. Participants were asked to recall and describe a fear-inducing or anger-inducing event from either an immersed or self-distanced perspective. Next, they completed the Iowa Gambling Task for our measure of risk-taking. A series of linear mixed random-effects models supported our hypotheses. First, incidental fear reduced risk-taking relative to incidental anger, and this effect reversed among participants who engaged in self-distancing. Second, self-distancing reduced reliance on intuitive information processing during the task. Third, analytical (but not intuitive) processing was negatively related to risk-taking. Finally, exploratory analyses revealed that fearful and angry people’s choices were driven more by their sensitivity to losses and gains than their sensitivity to risk. Incidental fear led to an aversion to decks associated with frequent losses.
Mayiwar, Lewend (2022)
[Academic lecture]. Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Annual Convention.
Construal Level Theory distinguishes emotions with respect to the level of construal level involved in their elicitation and experience. High-level emotions are abstract as they involve schematic and decontextualized information related to an event. Low-level emotions are concrete as they involve context-specific mental representations of an event. High-level emotions are commonly conceptualized as those that encompass self-conscious and moral emotions like pride and shame, whereas low-level emotions are believed to encompass basic emotions like fear and anger. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that anger may be a more abstract emotion than what is assumed, at least compared to other basic emotions such as fear. Anger is a highly social emotion, characterized by the consideration of abstract universal and social rules and principles. To date, no study has investigated how anger differs from other basic emotions with respect to construal level. In three studies, participants wrote about a past or current event that made them feel most fearful or angry. Text analysis revealed that participants who wrote about an anger-eliciting event used significantly more abstract language.
Mayiwar, Lewend & Løhre, Erik (2021)
[Academic lecture]. Social and Community Psychology Conference 2021.
It is well-established that listeners’ decisions depend on how outcomes are described to them, or framed. But how do speakers frame outcomes? For instance, will a manager frame an investment decision in terms of chances of failure (negative frame) or success (positive frame)? Drawing on the Appraisal Tendency Framework, we propose that emotions associated with uncertainty (e.g., fear) increase speakers' preference for negative framing, whereas emotions associated with certainty (e.g., anger) increase speakers' preference for positive framing. In our preregistered experiment (N = 700; Prolific), participants responded to measures of dispositional worry and anger and completed two framing tasks in different contexts (recruitment and medical treatment). In these tasks, we told participants that a medical treatment/job applicant had an estimated 40% (vs. 20%) chance of failure and a 60% (vs. 80%) chance of success. Next, we asked them whether they would describe the estimated outcome to their manager in terms of chances of failure or chances of success. Supporting our preregistered predictions, dispositionally worried people were more likely to choose negative frames (e.g., medical treatment has a 40% chance of failure), whereas dispositionally angry people were more likely to choose positive frames (e.g., medical treatment has a 60% chance of success). These associations were quite weak, and only emerged in the condition that presented participants with more balanced chances (i.e., 40% chance failure/60% chance success), suggesting that fear and anger may only influence frame selection when an outcome is ambiguous.
Mayiwar, Lewend & Hærem, Thorvald (2021)
[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management.
Researchers have provided important insight into the cognitive and emotional aspects of risk taking. In the present study we investigated the role of incidental physiological arousal - an affective component that has received relatively little attention and cognitive processing. Moreover, to gain further insight into the relation between arousal and risk taking, we examined the moderating role of habitual cognitive reappraisal. We found that incidental physiological arousal and intuitive processing predicted a higher likelihood of risk taking, whereas analytical processing predicted a lower likelihood of risk taking. Furthermore, we found that the relationship between physiological arousal and risk taking was stronger among individuals low on habitual cognitive reappraisal. Overall, the present study contributes to dual process theories of decision making as well the growing line of research on emotion regulation and risk taking. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Mayiwar, Lewend (2021)
[Academic lecture]. Distances in Organizations (DIO).
Fear is an emotion that has interested scholars and practitioners across different domains, such as psychology, economics, and politics. It has been widely studied in domains like decision making under risk and uncertainty (Wake et al., 2020), and underlies well-known phenomena like loss aversion (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; Ruggeri et al., 2020). While antecedents and outcomes of fear have been extensively studied, the construct itself has not received much empirical investigation. This is surprising given that researchers have made important conceptual distinctions between fear and other related emotions like anxiety. In this paper, I draw on Construal Level Theory (CLT; Trope & Liberman, 2010) and the regulatory scope framework (Trope et al., 2021) to propose that fear and anxiety differ in their underlying level of construal and regulatory scope. Anxiety, unlike fear, constitutes a so-called “high-level construal” emotion because it broadens mental scope, directing attention towards more abstract and distant targets (Öhman, 2009; Trope & Liberman, 2010). The findings from this study may hold important implications for organizations, particularly those that frequently deal with crises. During the initial stages of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the virus was a distant and abstract threat to many countries. This distance may have reduced levels of fear that would otherwise have prompted earlier implementation of safety measures. Manipulating the construal level at which crisis scenarios are presented or processed can influence their effectiveness.
Mayiwar, Lewend (2020)
[Academic lecture]. Distances in Organizations (DIO), McGill University.
|2018||BI Norwegian Business School||Master of Science|
|2016||Mälardalen University||Bachelor in Economics and Business Administration|
|2019 - Present||BI Norwegian Business School||PhD Candidate|
|2018 - 2019||BI Norwegian Business School||Research Assistant|
|2016 - 2018||LearningLab, BI Norwegian Business School||Student Assistant|