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Determinants and Consequences of Decisional Conflict

LabSocial processes Lab
FundingIWM (SAW)
Project description

People often experience decisional conflicts in their everyday life. In the canteen, for example, a person may experience a conflict between the goal to eat healthily (‘take the salad!’) and the goal to eat something tasty (‘take the pasta!’). The present project studies such decisional (goal) conflicts from different perspectives. First, the project focuses on the circumstances under which people are more vs. less likely to experience decisional conflicts (determinants). Second, our studies investigate the consequences of experiencing decisional conflict on affect/emotions, cognition, and behavior.

Regarding determinants of decisional conflict, the project currently investigates whether having been exposed to conflict before helps people to deal with future conflicts. More specifically, we study whether being in a ‘conflict mindset’ can help alleviate the intensity of future conflict so that people are better able to solve it.

Regarding consequences of decisional conflict, this project builds on previous work showing that the experience of decisional conflict can have a negative effect on how people feel about their choice. This has so far only been shown for self-control conflicts in the eating domain, and we are currently testing whether this is also the case for other types of self-control conflicts. Moreover, the project also studies situations (e.g., feedback) in which experiencing conflict can have positive effects on people’s affective and emotional reactions.

In doing so, this project tries to combine theory and methods from cognitive as well as social psychology. Moreover, it relates to basic questions (e.g., how does conflict influence information processing), as well as to contemporary phenomena (e.g., choice overload; filter bubbles).


Dr. Daniela Becker Dr. Daniela Becker
Tel.: +49 7071 979-231