Negative Affect and Choice: the Moderating Effect of Procedural and Outcome Accountability

Nitika Garg, University of Mississippi, USA
Vikas Mittal, Rice University, USA
J. Jeffrey Inman, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Research has found that incidental affect can sometimes influence people in debilitating ways. It has also, been found that when people are held accountable for their decision, they tend to disregard contextual effects such as incidental affect. More recently, two types of accountability – outcome and process – have emerged which can differentially influence decision making. Our research examines the cusp of these two streams by focusing on the influence of discrete emotional states – anger and fear – on choice and the moderating effect of both, accountability degree (low, high) and type. We find that while accountability in general can actually amplify biases by motivating differential reliance on avoidance choice strategies, process accountability attenuates decision biases and neutralizes differences across emotion conditions. The role of optimism in this phenomenon is also examined.
[ to cite ]:
Nitika Garg, Vikas Mittal, and J. Jeffrey Inman (2010) ,"Negative Affect and Choice: the Moderating Effect of Procedural and Outcome Accountability", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 556-557 .