Emotion-based choice

Barbara Mellers*, Alan Schwartz, Ilana Ritov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

624 Scopus citations


In this article the authors develop a descriptive theory of choice using anticipated emotions. People are assumed to anticipate how they will feel about the outcomes of decisions and use their predictions to guide choice. The authors measure the pleasure associated with monetary outcomes of gambles and offer an account of judged pleasure called decision affect theory. Then they propose a theory of choices between gambles based on anticipated pleasure. People are assumed to choose the option with greater subjective expected pleasure. Similarities and differences between subjective expected pleasure theory and subjective expected utility theory are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)332-345
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999


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