Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


Decision Making, Mindfulness and Mood: How Mindfulness Techniques can Reduce the Impact of Biases and Heuristics through Improved Decision Making and Positive Affect

Greta B. Raglan, Jay Schulkin

The decision sciences and mindfulness theory both focus on attention to thought processes and the exploration of the roots of those cognitions. Historically, these two models of viewing thought have, however, diverged. The decision sciences focus on better understanding the patterns and impacts of human decision making, particularly in instances of flawed decision making. Within this literature, mood state has been repeatedly shown to influence decision making patterns, with negative affect and anxiety increasing a person’s tendency toward decision making biases. Mindfulness emphasizes willingness to view one’s thoughts and behaviors from an open standpoint and has also been shown to be a valuable tool in reducing negative affect and anxiety. In this paper, we briefly explore both the decision sciences and mindfulness, including aspects of decision making that may be affected by mood. We also look to future directions in which mindfulness and the decision sciences could inform each other and lead to more effective interventions for problematic decision making tendencies. Through greater coordination between these two theoretical areas, it is possible that practical mechanisms of change may be more accessible.