The Impact of Positive Affect on Cognitive Decision Making Strategies: the Case of Mental Accounting

Yuliya Komarova, University of South Carolina, USA
Kelly Haws, Texas A&M University, USA
Amar Cheema, Washington University / University of Virginia, USA
The present research examines the role of positive affect in mental accounting processes--a form of decision framing in which individuals construct psychological accounts of the costs and benefits of various alternatives (Thaler 1985). We find that positive affect and affect regulation mechanisms determine how individuals use mental accounts as a self-control device in financial decision making. Specifically, we extend the research on malleable mental accounting (Cheema and Soman 2006) and show that positive affect impacts motivation and consequently, the degree to which consumers exercise ambiguity in expense categorization.
[ to cite ]:
Yuliya Komarova, Kelly Haws, and Amar Cheema (2010) ,"The Impact of Positive Affect on Cognitive Decision Making Strategies: the Case of Mental Accounting", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 174-178 .