So what are the implications of making decisions when we are in ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ emotional states?
We frequently make long-term decisions on the basis of our, transient, current feelings because we tend to overestimate how long we will continue to experience our current feelings and preferences.
Many decisions involve intense emotional states, either at the time of the decision or at the time when consequences are experienced. This means the decision is often based more on emotion than on the basis of long-term preferences. This may create a ‘hot-cold mismatch’ between the feelings we experience at the time of the decision and those we will experience when the consequences are experienced in the future. A ‘hot-cold mismatch’ is a cognitive bias in which people underestimate the influences of strong emotions and other visceral factors on their preferences and behaviour.
So what are the consequences of this mismatch on the decisions we make and what kind of interventions could minimize the mismatch?