Cognitive-Affective Interactions in Strategic Decision Making Academic Article uri icon


  • While making a decision to maximize the expected utility is among the prime examples of human intelligence, the ultimatum game showcases a social dilemma where people sacrifice their economic self-interest in the presence of negative emotions. In the present study, we explore human cognitive-affective interactions in strategic thinking from an integrated neurocomputational perspective. We manipulated participants' emotions by inducing incidental affective states in the ultimatum game. We found that participants' rejection rates of unfair offers were significantly lower in positive valence emotions ("happy" and "calm") than in negative valence emotions ("sad" and "anxious"). In addition, the reduction of rejection rates appeared to be independent of the arousal level (high arousal in "happy" and "anxious" versus low arousal in "calm" and "sad"). Our results suggested that positive valence emotions, by broadening people's evaluations of decision perspectives and alleviating the perception of unfairness, may help people regain focus on their economic self-interest. 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

published proceedings

  • Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)

author list (cited authors)

  • Sun, Y., & Wang, H.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Sun, Yanlong||Wang, Hongbin

publication date

  • October 2013